Whilst I was in London a few weeks ago, I went to "Fish!", my favourite restaurant, and as I promised, a recipe from their desserts menu. This is it. I love that restaurant's commitment to excellent food without the pretentiousness and stuffiness of many quality establishments.
It is so simple, so delicious and so pleasing to the eye and the stomach that it is a wonder that it has not ventured out of the English-speaking nations. You hardly need anything for it, and it
makes a truly lovely setting on the table after a delicious dinner.
A bag of sliced bread (but you can do your own, for example sweet bread, panettone or something similar)
A block of butter
3 to 5 eggs
About 0.5 litres of milk
3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar
Some vanilla essence or sugar
A bag of raisins/sultanas
Some cinnamon powder
A decent baking tray
Put the milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and give it a very good mix. Leave it on the side. Turn on your oven to 180°C.
Cut the crusts off your bread, butter both sides of the slices and start packing them into your baking tray in layers. It's easier to butter one side of the bread before you put it in, then the other side once it's fit into place. Put some raisins onto the first layer, then do the second with more raisins, until you have reached about two-thirds of the way up the baking tray. I used only half the bread, so I'll make some more tomorrow when I've been to the shop for more eggs and milk! You can put some cinnamon in each layer, or just sprinkle the top layer with it.
Then return to your milky mix and give it a good stir before you pour it over the bread and put it in the oven for twenty to thirty-five minutes, depending on your preference. I like the tope slightly burned, so I had mine in for about half an hour.
Serve it with custard (see the second part of recipe LIII for details, or make some from an instant packet, like back at school!)