1 loaf bread (a few days old)
50 g butter
125 g sugar ( I mix brown and regular)
Some milk (to soak bread in)
1 apple peeled and grated (optional)
5 tablespoons cocoa powder (try use a good quality one and not drinking chocolate!)
200 g pine nuts, chopped
200 g raisins
2 tablespoons candied peel
2 teaspoons mixed spice ( I use nutmeg and cinnamon - but it’s a matter of taste!)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon extra sugar for the top - coarse brown is the best!
Cut bread into squares and soak in some milk until soft.
Pre heat oven to 200C and grease a rectangular baking dish measuring about 30cm by 20cm. Squeeze out excess milk from the bread. (get your hands in there!)
Put the soggy bread in a processor with the other ingredients except the dried fruit and pine nuts and mix well.
Add the dried fruit and pine nuts and pulse until combined.
Spread in the baking dish and flatten surface with a spatula.
Sprinkle the extra sugar on top.
Bake for about an hour, until it feels firm . serve warm or at room temperature - but I also love it cold !