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Chocolate Brown Betty

Pudding | 23rd September 2011 | By

With a friend due for supper last week, loads of spare apples and some bread in need of using up, I knew immediately what I wanted to make for pudding. I grew up calling a stewed apple base with a bread crumb top Apple Charlotte, but apparently that is not correct. Apple Charlotte seems to be more like a summer pudding but using apples rather than summer berries. According to the great god Google, a Brown Betty is what I’ve been referring to all these years. Anyway, this is what I did, making it up as I went along:

  • Blitzed 3oz of my rye sourdough into bread crumbs.
  • Stirred in 1 tbsp demerara sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and a grating of nutmeg.
  • Melted 1oz butter with 1 heaped tbsp golden syrup and stirred into the bread.
  • Peeled, cored and sliced 2 large Cornish cooking apples and 4 small red fleshed ones we found on a wayside tree.
  • Buttered a small pie dish and piled in the apple slices.
  • Sprinkled 2 tbsp demerara sugar over the apples.
  • Scattered 50g chopped dark orange flavoured chocolate over this.
  • Spooned the bread crumb mixture over the top of the chocolate.
  • Baked for 25 minutes at 180C.

The picture may be rubbish – it was dark, but this was so good, I wonder why I’ve never made it before. The bread crumb top was deliciously spicy and nicely crunchy. The chocolate had melted comfortingly into the apples which were soft and juicy and the dollop of creme fraiche over the top was the perfect finishing tough. The three of us polished it off quick time as the conversation drifted from marine biology to tango dancing via druidic studies.

To celebrate her new blog home, Kate of What Kate Baked (formerly Kates Cakes & Bakes) has issued an Autumnal Challenge to bake something homely, comforting, warming and autumnal. She even has a prize up for grabs. This pud fits the bill nicely – in my humble opinion!

A tad cheekily, but I’m fast running out of time and have a long queue of posts waiting patiently to be published, I am also submitting this to Fabulicious Food’s Simple and in Season.

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  1. Kate@whatkatebaked

    23rd September 2011 at 7:32 pm

    A brilliant Autumnal entry, thank you for entering Choclette! I haven’t had a Brown Betty for years…but this post has made me relive my childhood pudding memories of tucking straight into every single dessert, each one invariably drowned in lashings of custard!

  2. Gloria

    23rd September 2011 at 9:32 pm

    absolutely delicious!! gloria

  3. Phil in the Kitchen

    23rd September 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I’ve often been confused by just what an Apple Charlotte should be – I’ve seen the name given to all sorts of odd combinations. But I’m sure you’re right that it’s closer to a summer pudding – that’s what Eliza Acton says and that’s good enough for me. Whatever it’s called, though, your pud sounds lovely. I especially like the idea of using orange chocolate.

  4. Choclette

    24th September 2011 at 6:37 am

    Kate – thank you for hosting. You tucking into dessert made me laugh – it was always the highlight of any meal for me too (when we had it).

    Gloria – thank you.

    Phil – Thanks for confirming the apple charlotte conundrum. The orange chocolate is something I shall have to remember to use again in an apple pudding – it did work well.

  5. Kath

    24th September 2011 at 6:56 am

    Red fleshed apples! I have never before seen such a thing. What do they taste like? I have never had an apple betty but always thought they looked good. Yours has tempted me to try one.

  6. Shu Han

    24th September 2011 at 7:24 am

    I think for a charlotte you don’t have to blitz the bread into crumbs, but you do need to soak the bread in LOTS of butter. I think. I’m not English so I may be speaking out of line here. But to be honest I don’t really care as long as it tastes good, and your brown betty (i love how it sounds) looks simply fab!

  7. Chele

    24th September 2011 at 10:02 am

    Chocolate Brown Betty! Why have I never thought of that!!! Yum ;0)
    PS – love the flowers too, so pretty!

  8. oxslip

    24th September 2011 at 9:23 am

    Those red apples are amazing aren’t they? I think in Cornwall it’s called Sops in Wine (according to my Ma). Either way, a great pud especially as these evenings get more nippy

  9. Karen S Booth

    24th September 2011 at 12:00 pm

    A GREAT idea and perfect entries for both seasonal events too! Your flowers are gorgeous on the table.

  10. Johanna GGG

    24th September 2011 at 12:17 pm

    gorgeous autumnal pic – and lovely idea – have never had brown betty but if I do I would like some chocolate in mine

  11. C

    24th September 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Looks fab – and sounds like a great combo of autumnal flavours.

    I love your flowers, they’re really pretty.

  12. VegBoxBoy

    24th September 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Never heard of a Brown Betty before – sounds nice. Shame I’ve already stewed my apples.

  13. Foodycat

    24th September 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I thought it was a bowl of rose petals! The apples on our tree have a hint of pink in the flesh, but nothing like that. Beautiful!

  14. Janice

    24th September 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Ha! I’ve just made a Brown Betty tonight, definitely the time of year to bring on the baked puds and yours looks delicious.

  15. Choclette

    24th September 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Kath – the red apples were OK, but not the most delicious raw – not that sweet, but not that sour. CT recently bought one for a friend in Wales – Pendragon (although there are various ones available).

    Shu Han – thank you. Am liking the sound of bread soaked in lots of butter 😉

    Oxslip – CT informs me Sops in Wine is a specific variety of red fleshed apple – great name. And yes, with my garish taste, I love the colour.

    Chele – thank you, one more pud to add to your list (s).

    Karen – thank you. The flowers are not home grown, but they are local.

    Johanna – chocolate is great for that added feel good factor 😉

    C – thank you. Sometimes throwing things together works really well – sometimes not 😉

    VBB – there’s always next year!

    Foodycat – would love to have a big bowl of rose petals – how luxurious! Thanks for following, you’ve made a nice even number of 250 which pleases me, but after all this time …..?

    Janice – now that is a co-incidence. Did you follow a real recipe? Will be over to your blog to find out.

  16. celia

    24th September 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Choc, I’ve never seen red-fleshed apples before! They look amazing! Love the name too – a Brown Betty sounds like comfort food.. 🙂

  17. Baking Addict

    24th September 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Definitely very autumnal. I’m glad you’ve cleared up my confusion about apple charlotte and brown betty. I can see why it got polished so quickly.

  18. cityhippyfarmgirl

    25th September 2011 at 3:40 am

    Red on the inside apple- now that is very cool.
    I’ve never tried Brown Betty before. Looks perfect for a little autumn cooking Choc.

  19. Choclette

    25th September 2011 at 9:18 am

    Celia – this was the first time I’d seen red-fleshed apples they are beautiful. Just as you are quickening into spring, we are slowing right down into autumn, so comfort food is very much the order of the day.

    Baking Addict – glad it wasn’t just me then!!!!

    CityHippy – lovely looking apples, just a shame they aren’t quite as delicious as they look. Worked well as a pudding though.

  20. Hazel

    28th September 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I can honestly say I have never heard of a Chocolate Brown Betty before! Sounds like a very interesting dessert, especially with the addition of rye breadcrumbs.

  21. Choclette

    1st October 2011 at 8:06 am

    Hazel – I keep hearing about rye in cakes, but this is the first time I’ve used it in a sweet dish and I was very pleased with the result.

  22. Judith Luscombe

    3rd August 2013 at 9:43 am

    Think this is a variation of a recipe we used to make at school, Brown Betty Apple Sweet, sounds delicious


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