It has been six long years since the family last went for a visit to the Philippines. This time to make up for all the time away, we decided to come over during the Christmas holidays and spend five weeks reconnecting with family, visiting sun-kissed island destinations like Panglao and Boracay and sampling the unique dishes on offer at each stop.
Gab had his first taste of Filipino bread pudding or budin at the resort we stayed at in Boracay. He loved it so much he asked me if I knew how to make it. As it turned out, budin was one of the recipes I learned from my mum when I was growing up. It’s easy to make and pressed into service whatever ingredients were close to hand. Stale bread, eggs and milk were the mainstays but I remember using such things as peanuts, cashew nuts, raisins, canned pineapple, canned peaches, fruit cocktail, chocolate chips and candied fruit peel when making it. Learning to make Filipino bread pudding taught me how to make the most of whatever resources were available, both in the kitchen and with life in general.
Call it coincidence, but between Gab discovering budin during our Christmas holiday and memories of serving it at the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and Media Noche (New Year’s Eve) dinner table, surely must mean something. It’s a sad fact that budin has come from being one of my favourites to one that I have since “forgotten”. Blame it on the lack of stale bread – we freeze bread at home and take only what’s required from the freezer – but I can recall making budin just once since moving to Australia. It took a trip back home to the Philippines to rescue it from the dustbin of history, but I’d like to think that we’re making up for all those years of neglect – Gab, Migo and I have made budin or bread pudding as the boys now know it about half a dozen times since coming back from that Philippine holiday.
- 1 tsp butter
- 350 gms white bread
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 500 ml pouring cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Cointreau (optional)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chip buttons
- 1/2 cup raisins, aka sultanas
- 1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
- Vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, to serve
How to Cook Budin
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease the bottom and sides of a 17 cm ramekin with the butter.
Using your fingers, tear the bread apart into 6 to 8 pieces per slice. Set aside.
Make a custard mixture by whisking the eggs, brown sugar and pouring cream until the sugar has melted. Add the vanilla extract and Cointreau, if using. In 3 or 4 batches, slowly add the bread to the custard mixture making sure that each piece is soaked well.
Add the chocolate chip buttons, raisins and cashew to the mix and combine well. Pour the pudding mixture in the greased ramekin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. At this stage the pudding will have risen and will be golden in colour. Stick a bamboo skewer down the centre of the bread pudding. It is done if the skewer comes out clean.
Allow the pudding to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup.
- The longer you soak the bread pieces the denser the budin will be.
- Replace the chocolate chip buttons with pineapple pieces to give the bread pudding a refreshing tartness.
- I’m keen to try a mixed berry (raspberry, blueberry, currants) bread pudding one of these days. Let me know how you go if you beat me to it.