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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Tom Hunt

How to turn old bread and spent coffee into a lavish pudding – recipe

Tom Hunt's thrifty pain perdu, with chocolate and flavoured with coffee grounds.
Ground control: Tom Hunt’s thrifty pain perdu with chocolate and spent coffee custard. Photograph: Tom Hunt/The Guardian

When the acclaimed chocolatier William Curley visited our restaurant Poco, in Bristol, we created a chocolate feast that included a pain perdu to use up our stale bread and served with lashings of chocolate sauce. We serve wholemeal sourdough at Poco, , and its malty nature works surprisingly well with chocolate. I’ve given the chocolate custard extra punch with the addition of a teaspoon of spent coffee grounds, which are a surprisingly useful byproduct that’s full of aroma, flavour and caffeine; I like to sneak them into recipes whenever I can.

Pain perdu with chocolate and coffee

In a country where bread is served with almost every meal, wholemeal bread is a taste that’s well worth acquiring, not least because it is filling, flavourful and bursting with nutrition. This dish works best with day-old and even stale bread, and works with any type of bread, really, including plain white, rye and even sourdough.

Serves 6

100ml whole milk
160ml double cream
2 tbsp maple syrup, honey or unrefined sugar
1 tsp spent coffee gr
100g dark chocolate
2 eggs
, lightly beaten
25ml rum, brandy or whisky
6 thick slices wholemeal sourdough
1 tbsp butter

Pour the milk and half the cream into a small saucepan , stir in the maple syrup, honey or unrefined sugar and the coffee grounds, bring to a gentle simmer, then take off the heat.

Chop 80g of the chocolate, put it in a bowl, pour the hot cream mix over the top and leave to sit for a couple of minutes. Stir gently until the chocolate melts and is combined with the cream, then stir in the beaten eggs and the rum, brandy or whisky.

Arrange the slices of bread in a tray, pour the chocolate mixture all over the top and leave to soak in for a few minutes; you may have more custard than you need, so save the rest for serving.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat , then gently fry the soaked bread in batches for three minutes on each side, or until they start to form a crust.

Whip the remaining 80ml double cream, to thicken, and very gently reheat any remaining chocolate custard. Serve a slice of pain perdu per portion with extra cream and chocolate custard on the side and with some of the remaining 20g of chocolate shaved or grated on top.

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