Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When Cuisine Genie met Catherine...


I survived. 

My 10 seconds of fame on Ireland AM on TV3, with Baking Queen, Catherine Leyden. Last week I put my little heart on my sleeve and took a deep breath. Or gulped rather. 

Catherine Leyden, and that's me in my apron

If I was to write this the way my 10 seconds of fame felt it would go something like this:

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.

Where's my apron?

Hi Catherine.






And you probably don't want to hear about how my heart was galloping and all I could think was 'Is that really how my voice sounds? Eeek'. 

Presenter Aidan Cooney and me practising deep breathing exercises (just me, not Aidan)

It was an unbelievable experience and if you've seen the lovely Catherine on the telly she is even more fun in real life. She had me in stitches all morning. I'm very grateful to her, and of course Age Action, Bluebird Care and Media Box. Thank you for everything. 

A special thank you to Gary O'Hanlon, for all his kind words of encouragement, coming from a Chef like him it makes me think this might just work out after all. 

Just when I thought this morning couldn't get any better, I tweeted another Irish hero of mine, Marian Keyes. And she watched me! On the telly! Thanks Marian. U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.A.B.L.E. 

And on a personal note, to my best friend Sarah, thanks for keeping me calm on the day pal - you're the best. 

Right I'll stop now. Is it just me or am I sounding a bit like I accepted an Oscar this morning? Diva alert.

Since I put my heart on show I've wondered if it was the right thing to do or not. While it's not a big deal to anyone else to me it was terrifying. Now I have to keep going on this crazy adventure. 

Well, as they say the proof is in the pudding. So who's making my bread and butter pudding? Ah go on.  

Pistachio Bread and Butter Pudding

(Warning, making this may not get you on the telly)

For the pistachio bread recipe (which is also great on its own) please click here

Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking time 35 - 45 minutes

Bread and butter pudding ingredients 
1 loaf pistachio bread
50g/2oz butter, softened and extra for greasing
75g/2.5oz pistachios, roughly chopped
450ml/15.5 fl oz whole milk
100ml/3.5fl oz double cream
1 vanilla pod (optional)
25g/1oz caster sugar
4 slices white bread
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Custard ingredients 
570ml/1 pint whole milk
55ml/2fl oz single cream
1 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
30g/1oz caster sugar
2 level tablespoons cornflour


  • Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.
  • Cut off the crust of the pistachio bread. Then cut into slices. Halve each slice and butter. (You could toast the crusts and top with butter or jam for a snack).
  • Place a single layer of pistachio bread slices in the dish.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of the pistachios on top.
  • Repeat another layer of pistachio bread and pistachios.
  • If using the vanilla pod, slit it down the middle and scrape the seeds out. Add the seeds to the milk and cream in a pan.
  • Warm the mixture to scalding point. Don’t let it boil.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until pale.
  • Pour the warm milk and cream mixture on to the eggs and sugar and whisk.
  • Pour half the custard on top of the bread/pistachios.
  • Leave to soak for 15 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Fancy an extra Irish touch? Cut out shamrock shapes using a pastry cutter from 1 slice of the white bread.
  • Cut the remaining white bread into quarters, remove crusts. Then layer (with the shamrocks if using) on top of the pudding.
  • Pour the remaining custard on top and sprinkle with the demerara sugar and remaining pistachios.
  • Bake for  34 - 45 minutes until golden brown and crunchy on top.
  • Serve warm with cream or custard.
Custard (if using)

  • Bring the milk, cream and vanilla pod to scalding point in a pan (slowly over a low heat).
  • Remove the vanilla pod. You could store in a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar for baking.
  • Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl.
  • Pour the warm milk and cream on to the eggs/sugar/cornflour and whisk well.
  • Put back in the pan and heat over a low heat until thickened (5 – 10 minutes).
  • Pour over the pudding and enjoy. 


  1. Well done Cuisine Genie, fab experience. Would you want to have your own cooking show on telly?

  2. Merci beaucoup! Oh WOW, imagine that! Maybe someday, I'll keep dreaming :-) Right now I'm happy finding my feet and trying all these new things.

  3. that would be the only reason I'd ever pay for a tv licence again....!!

  4. Replies
    1. I must confess it's hard not to wear it all the time now ;-)

  5. Cuisine Genie - Congratulations, you have been a brilliant winner of our Big Bake!! Age ACtion could not have hoped for a better person or a more YUMMY dish to win. You were great with Catherine today on TV3 Ireland AM. I hope you will keep in touch and be our Ambassador for the Big Bake and Age Action.
    Well done again!!
    Age Aation Fundraising Team

  6. Thanks for your lovely comment Rhona!t was such a great experience. Of course I'll keep in touch, I'm not going anywhere :) Thanks so much for all your help again.

  7. Ah! A massive congratulations! So happy I stopped over on your blog today-- this bread & butter pudding looks gorgeous! Now if I only had someone to make it for me ;)

  8. Thanks Rincy! Delighted you like it. Well now, I'm sure I could deliver ;-)

  9. Pistachio bread looks amazing! And then it become BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING. I need to sit down! :-)

  10. Thanks Sam! Delighted you like it. I love a couple of slices of the bread buttered for a snack. Although at this stage I'm on pistachio overload, need to lay off them for a while now :-)