Earl grey bread & butter pudding

Photographer: Emma

This is the first recipe I have posted in which tea features as an ingredient, and by no means will it be the last.  When last year I posted my recipe for Chai, I also introduced my passion for loose leaf tea.  This passion is such that I see tea having the potential to be enjoyed in more ways than just its traditional form.  Of late I have taken to experimenting with tea in my cooking and thus far the results have been promising.  I have added it to cakes, to hot chocolate (watch this space) and to puddings, as the title of this post suggests.

What makes this recipe so good is that it is quick and easy to make and it results in a deliciously impressive dessert.  Using croissants instead of bread adds to the layered effect and gives it a more chewy texture.  The addition of earl grey tea, dark chocolate and almonds was last minute and has since inspired me to experiment with other flavours too.  These could include Black Doris plum and chocolate, pear and cardamom or banana and caramel to name just a few.  Have fun with it and let us know which combinations have proved the tastiest!


6 croissants
200ml cream
200ml milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g sugar
2 tsp earl grey tea (or 2 earl grey tea bags)
130g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
70g slivered almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC on bake and grease and line a loaf tin.
2. Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and stir in the earl grey tea. Heat the mixture through until not quite simmering and leave at this temperature for about 10 minutes so that the tea can infuse through the mixture.
3. Whisk together the milk (I left the tea leaves in but you could also strain them out if you wanted), sugar and vanilla extract. Then very carefully pour the milk/cream mixture in a thin stream into the egg mixture.
4. Slice the croissants on a shallow angle so that you end up with 4 thick bread-like slices from each croissant. Dip each piece into the cream mixture so that the slices are well soaked through. Line the bottom of the tin with the soaked croissants and then sprinkle over a layer of almonds and chocolate. Continue this with the remaining ingredients (I did 4 layers), reserving some almonds and chocolate to sprinkle over the top layer. If there is any remaining liquid then carefully pour this around the edges of the tin so that it soaks into the layers.
5. Place in the oven and bake for around 40 minutes or until the liquid has set. Remove from the oven, turn out of the tin and slice into thick slices and serve with ice-cream.