Note: If you don’t have a lot of time, you could buy a pre-made Tsoureki and add the chocolate and Halva to the bread and butter pudding stage.
For the chocolate halva tsoureki: 1 kg plain flour
100 g dry yeast
1 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of orange juice
50 g mahlepi
500 g vanilla sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 1/4 cups of caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
A pinch of salt
200 g dark chocolate buttons
1 cup of toasted hazelnuts
1 cup of crumbled Halva
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the bread and butter pudding 100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
600ml pure (thin) cream
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Icing sugar, to dust
Roasted macadamia nuts, for garnish
Method: 1. For the tsoureki, preheat the oven to 180 C. Sift the flour. In a saucepan put vanilla sugar, vanilla bean paste, mahlepi, cinnamon, oil, orange juice and zest and warm until the sugar melts—making sure not to boil. Beat eggs separately.
2. Prepare the yeast, 1/4 cup slightly warm water, caster sugar, a pinch of salt and yeast. Dissolve and put this aside until it rises.
3. Once yeast has risen, add eggs and yeast to the wet mixture, and stir them in. Make a well in the flour, and pour the mixture in adding chocolate, Halva and hazelnuts. Keep some oil nearby for your hand, and mix it all through so it’s all combined into a dough—try not to over handle! Cover it, and keep it warm until it rises again.
4. Once the mixture has risen, roll the dough out into shapes, again try not to over handle! Then let the shapes rise again, in a warm place. Once they have risen, base them with an egg yolk wash, and place in the oven.
5. Drop oven to 170 C and cook for around 20 minutes. Prick with a skewer in the centre of Tsoureki to make sure it is cooked through, before resting on a cake rack to cool.
6. For the bread and butter pudding, Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 2L baking dish. Cut the tsoureki into slices and arrange around the bottom and the sides of the baking dish. Follow this with another layer on top.
7. Whisk the butter, eggs, sugar, cream, milk, orange zest and vanilla together in a bowl until just combined. Pour over the tsoureki, and let stand for 3-4 hours to allow the cream mixture to soak in and the flavours to develop.
8. For more of a caramelised crunch on top, add a thin layer of sugar before it reaches the oven. Bake the pudding for 1 hour or until just set. Dust with icing sugar and roasted macadamia nuts to garnish. Enjoy!