Recipe Roadtest: Jonathan Phang’s Bread and Butter Pudding

Readers will remember my mention of Jonathan Phang’s epic bread and butter pudding bake-off on his show Gourmet Express that inspired the baking of our sultana bread pudding. Ever since I read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, I have been entranced by the old world glamour of long-distance train travel to exotic destinations (minus the murder, of course!). So when I stumbled across the first episode of the series featuring the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, I was immediately hooked – the behind the scenes look at luxurious, iconic trains, fabulous food and the effervescent humour and enthusiasm of Jonathan Phang made it a must-watch for the next five weeks.

So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when Jonathan himself commented on my post, with an offer to send over his revised bread and butter pudding recipe! The pudding he made during the bake-off looked incredible, so on receiving his new recipe, my sister and I were eager to try it out. Thanks very much for sharing Jonathan – I hope we did your recipe justice!

Jonathan Phang's Bread and Butter Pudding

Jonathan Phang’s Bread and Butter Pudding

What you’ll need:

  • 8 slices of day old thick white bread/brioche loaf or challah
  • 60g butter
  • Guava jelly or pineapple jam
  • 560ml full fat milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean mixed essence
  • 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 85g golden/raw caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons dried mixed fruit
  • 1 tablespoon Demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon icing sugar, for sprinkling

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly butter a baking dish that is 33cm x 26cm x 4.5cm in size.

2. Cut the bread into quarters (triangles), or in halves if using brioche or challah. Butter the bread on both sides and spread lightly with the pineapple jam or guava jelly on one side.

3. Arrange the bread jam side up in the baking dish in neat overlapping layers. Sprinkle over the mixed fruit.

2014-07-06 12.20.19

4. Combine the milk and cream and whisk in the eggs and egg yolks. Add the caster sugar, rum, ground spice and Caribbean essence. Pour custard mixture evenly over the bread and sprinkle with Demerara sugar. 2014-07-06 12.28.46

5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the custard is set and the bread is brown and caramelised. 2014-07-06 13.31.55

6. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!


  • As Sydney is some distance from the Caribbean, Caribbean mixed essence was nigh on impossible to find. In fact, when I googled “Caribbean mixed essence Sydney”, the fifth result to come up was my sultana bread pudding blog post where Jonathan had posted his recipe! After researching what this essence was actually made up of, we ended up using a combination of vanilla extract and lemon zest and juice.
  • The baking dish we used was slightly bigger than that specified in the recipe, so the finished pudding was probably a little flatter than it should be. We also had to slice up more brioche to fill the dish.

This Caribbean-inspired bread and butter pudding was delicious – it had a fluffy, creamy texture, with the rum and spices adding lovely depth and complexity to what is really a simple dish. The bursts of sweetness from the dried fruits and pineapple jam and the crisp caramelised sugar on top was the proverbial icing on the cake. Thank you again so much Jonathan, for sharing this wonderful bread and butter pudding recipe – it has already become a family favourite!

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