Individual Summer Puddings

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• 175g/6oz caster sugar
• 150ml/5fl oz water
• 1 vanilla pod, split
• 100g/3½oz blueberries
• 100g/3½oz strawberries, quartered
• 100g/3½oz raspberries
• 12 slices white bread, crusts removed (or white cake)

To serve:
• icing sugar, for dusting
• cream or mascarpone (optional)

Preparation method:
1. Place the sugar, water and vanilla pod into a pan over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
2. Add all of the berries and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
3. Strain the fruit mixture over a bowl. Place the drained berries into a separate bowl and reserve the fruit syrup.
4. Cut each slice of bread in half and dip the pieces into the fruit syrup.
5. Use the syrup-soaked bread to line the insides of four small dariole moulds.
6. Spoon some of the reserved berries into each bread-lined mould, to fill by one third.
7. Add a layer of syrup-soaked bread, then spoon in more berries and top with a final layer of syrup-soaked bread.
8. Place into the fridge to chill overnight.
9. To serve, turn out the puddings from the moulds onto plates and dust with icing sugar. Add a dollop of clotted cream alongside, if using, then serve.