A gorgeous wintry pudding, you can’t go wrong with this baked “cake” of lightly spiced custard soaked bread, layered with boozy rum soaked raisins. You could also bake this in a baking dish instead of a cake tin for the more classic version of this oven dish.
Sprinkle liberally with crunchy Demerara sugar, and enjoy by the fire or after dinner with some ice cream.
Soak the raisins and orange zest in the dark rum overnight, or for at least a couple of hours beforehand.
Preheat your oven to 180°C, and line a 20cm spring form cake tin with baking parchment.
Place the slices of bread in the bottom of the cake tin creating a layer of bread, sprinkle with rum soaked raisins, and place another layer of bread on top. Repeat this, layering the bread and the soaked fruit, until you reach the top of the tin. Finish with a sprinkling of raisins.
Make the crème anglaise. In a small pan heat the cream with the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla until just under the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar, until they turn a pale yellow. Pour half of the cream over the egg and sugar mix and incorporate with a balloon whisk, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture back into the pan over the heat with the rest of the cream. Stir gently with the whisk over a low-medium heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Keep whisking to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t let it get too hot or the eggs will curdle.
Remove the pan from the heat, and leave to cool in a bowl of ice-cold water to prevent the custard from over-cooking. Strain it through a sieve if there are any lumps, to achieve a smooth texture.
Pour about three-quarters of the custard over the bread and leave it to soak for 30 minutes, to allow the bread to absorb it. Top up with the remaining custard, and sprinkle the top liberally with Demerara sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a deep golden brown. Let the cake sit for 12 minutes or so before slicing and serving. Eat while still warm, with a little vanilla ice cream or pouring cream on the side.