Last night we had supper at Richard’s parents, I kindly offered to take along a pudding of some kind. I took advantage of the cold weather and decided to make a variation of Bread and Butter Pudding.  (While in Tesco's recently, I noticed that Hot Cross Buns are available all year round over here, not only at Easter, which gives me immense pleasure!)

I took a quick photo when it came out the oven - the most amazing and totally irresistible spicy, sweet, chocolaty aroma filled my nostrils...  I literally had to tie my own hands behind my back in order to resist the temptation to dig out a little spoonful from the corner... 

This is such an easy recipe to follow & it is literally flop proof!

300ml skimmed milk (2%)
300ml double cream
15ml vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
180g caster sugar
6 hot cross buns
1 slab of organic milk chocolate (white preferably)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Butter for spreading
Icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Pour milk and cream into a saucepan and slowly bring to just below boiling point, then remove from the stove.  Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon to the saucepan, giving it a little whisk.
In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and sugar together.  Slowly add the hot milk and cream to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time to make a custard. (Always add hot to cold, never the other way around - or you will end up with scrambled eggs!)
Slice the hot cross buns in half and spread with soft butter.  Grease your baking dish and then dip each bun into the custard before placing them into your dish, overlapping them slightly.  Break the slab of chocolate up into pieces (I used a rolling pin for this, while the chocolate is unopened in its packaging) and stick the broken bits in between the overlapping buns, down the sides of the dish and in-between the buns - pretty much anywhere there is an open spot!
Gently pour the custard over the buns and leave them to soak for about 15 minutes. I used a wooden spoon to press the buns down into the dish so that they soak up more of the custard.
Then place the baking dish into a bain-marie (a roasting tin/ baking tray half filled with hot water).
I baked it for about 40 - 45 minutes.  When it is ready, the top will be slightly browned and there should be yummy thick custard underneath the buns (use a knife to lift one slightly).
 Make sure you check the pudding after about 30 minutes to make sure it doesn't overcook!
Leave it to cool slightly and then dust with icing sugar and serve.

WARNING:  This pudding is completely addictive and your guests will be scraping out the last bit of pudding from the dish and fighting over who gets to lick the dishing up spoon!