The idea for this delicious Tsoureki pudding came about during my visits in UK to see my daughter. She adores Tsoureki and loves Victoria sponge cakes and bread and butter pudding. I decided to combine all three and create a unique Tsoureki pudding. This Tsoureki pudding recipe is not a bread and butter pudding but rather a delicious pudding combining Greek tsoureki with tahini, apricot jam flavours together with a British traditional sandwich Victoria sponge cake.
Victoria sponge, bread and butter pudding versus Tsoureki pudding
Victoria sponge cake is the most traditional British sandwich cake. It combines two layers of fluffy vanilla sponges with strawberry jam and buttercream in the middle.
Bread and butter pudding as it name implies is a pudding made up of bread, milk (or heavy cream), butter and eggs. Bread is soaked into the milk-egg mixture and then baked.
Tsoureki is sweet, brioche type bread with a fluffy and stringy consistency that is typically made and consumed on Greek Easter or Pascha as we call it. It is a brioche type bread with the addition of mahlab and cardamon seeds. For this Greek style bread pudding, I used Tsoureki for its unique flavour.
For this particular Tsoureki pudding recipe I used Carob Tsoureki as this was my leftover Tsoureki at the time. Nevertheless, the recipe can be easily prepared with all types of Tsoureki, ie plain traditional Tsoureki to Carob, chocolate and even cocoa Tsoureki.
Whole fat milk has a creamier and thicker taste than any other milk. This makes it a perfect addition for this baked dessert. There is no need to add double cream as this will make the dessert heavier.
If lactose intolerant, substitute milk with soya or rice milk as they have a neutral taste. Nonetheless, coconut or almond milk would add a tasty note to the dessert.
For this Tsoureki pudding, I swapped apricot for strawberry jam as I used Carob Tsoureki. You can find the recipe of my Carob Tsoureki here. Carob Tsoureki has chocolatey taste and goes well with apricot jam. Carob Tsoureki also goes well with marmalade.
If you are making this baked dessert with traditional Tsoureki then you can add any jam you like. I particularly like strawberry jam with plain Tsoureki, though blackcurrant, blueberry, raspberry, cherry and fig jams would go very well.
Tahini or Tahina is made up of hulled sesame seeds with oil and is very popular in Greece and Cyprus. Its unique earthy, nutty and slightly bitter taste makes it the perfect addition. Tahini has many uses in Mediterranean cuisine and can used as a spread, dressing or added in cooking.
Make sure you buy good quality tahini as a bad quality one will have a rather sharp and bitter taste. If allergic to sesame seeds, omit Tahini. Rest assured this Tsoureki pudding will still taste amazing!
Any nuts will go well with this Tsoureki pudding. I used hazelnuts in this recipe as it pairs with Carob Tsoureki. Almonds and walnuts will also be ideal for this baked dessert.
Step by step pictorial
Start by slicing the Tsoureki into chunks and set it aside. Gently warm the milk until steam begins to rise. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites with vanilla. Slowly add the milk in the egg white-vanilla mixture.
Soak the Tsoureki chunks into the mixture for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 150C or 300F.
Place the soaked Tsoureki chunks into a buttered baking dish. Spread a thin layer of tahini and a further layer of apricot jam.
Bake for 40 minutes at 150C or 300F. Meanwhile, beat the eggs whites with the sugar until the meringue turns thick. Whizz the hazelnuts in a food processor and set aside.
Once the Tsoureki pudding is baked, add the meringue on top and garnish with chopped hazelnuts.
Return to oven and bake for a further 20 minutes at 150C or 302F.
You can find my traditional homemade Tsoureki recipe here. For a chocolate filled Tsoureki look no further than my chocolate Marble Tsoureki recipe. Also if you like syrup, have a look in my mini cocoa and syrup Tsoureki. Finally, for a nutty and chocolatey Tsoureki try my Carob Tsoureki recipe and for a healthier, savoury Tsoureki try out my Spinach and Feta Tsoureki recipe.
- 220gr Tsoureki (5 slices of Tsoureki, babka or brioche type bread)
- 500ml full or whole fat milk ( 1 and 3/4 cups milk)
- 3 eggs
- 250gr apricot jam (or any other to your liking)
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 100gr caster sugar
- 2-3 drops of vanilla ( or 1 vanilla sachet)
- 50gr chopped hazelnuts
- unsalted butter ( for baking tin/dish)
For this recipe you will need: an electric whisk, 25x12x5.3cm baking dish and a medium pan.
- Break apart the Tsoureki into chunks or slice it into 1-2 inches cubes. I like to leave the Tsoureki crust on as it has a delicious sugar glaze. Set the Tsoureki chunks aside.
- In a pan slowly warm the milk until lukewarm. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with vanilla for a few minutes. Continue by slowly adding the lukewarm milk into the egg yolk-vanilla mixture while whisking.
- Soak the Tsoureki chunks into the mixture and set aside for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 150C or 300F.
- Butter a baking tin and pour the Tsoureki pudding mixture into the tin. Spread a thin layer of tahini and apricot jam on top of tahini. Bake for 40 minutes at 150C or 300F.
- Whilst the Tsoureki pudding is in the oven, beat the eggs whites with sugar until the meringue turns thick. Whizz the hazelnuts in a food processor and set aside.
- Once the Tsoureki pudding is baked, add the meringue on top and garnish with hazelnuts. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes at 150C or 300F.
- Server hot or cold with or without a scoop of ice cream.