Transform your Italian Colomba into an English pudding or the art of recycling

At the beginning of the twentieth century Motta the bakers and sweet makers, created Colomba Pasquale, or Easter dove a soft leavened cake with candied fruit and a crisp coating of glaze and almonds. It was the Easter answer to raisin- free Panettone which is traditionally served at Christmas. Nowadays Colomba is one of the most popular sweet breads to serve at Easter. It is tricky to make, and most people buy it ready made. Should you happen to be in Milano, our favourite is from St Ambroeus one of the oldest patisseries; definitely worth the detour. You can always recycle the leftovers with an old-fashioned English favourite, bread-and-butter pudding.

Colomba Bread-and-Butter Pudding
50 g butter
5 slices Colomba bread
2 eggs
150 g double cream
200 ml milk
1 tablespoon Grand-Marnier
2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves 6 to 8

  1. Pre-heat oven at 160 C and butter the Colomba slices. Arrange them in an oven proof buttered dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk and Cointreau until frothy and well blended. Pour evenly over Colomba slices.
  3. Place the dish in a bain-marie and bake for 35 minutes or until the egg mixture is set. The top should be nice and brown and the inside soft and yellowish.
  4. Mix marmalade with 2 tablespoons of water and heat gently in a pan. Brush the glaze over the top of the pudding.
  5. Serve warm with whipped cream.

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