Students use their loaf to beat food waste

December 2015

Crumbs! Students from University College Birmingham used their culinary skills and imagination to turn leftover bread into delicious dishes. 

The creative cooks accepted the unusual challenge from Central England Co-operative as part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which aims to help households save up to £700 a year by fighting food waste. 

According to Love Food Hate Waste, which is part of national charity WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme), UK households throw away 24 million slices of bread every day. To highlight the issue, Central England Co-operative asked students from UCB to transform stale bread into tasty treats. 

After submitting their suggestions on paper, six students battled it out in a cook-off to find out who would be crowned king or queen of the leftovers. Representatives from Central England Co-operative, UCB and Love Food Hate Waste judged the creations on a range of criteria including presentation, creativity and technical skill. The panel also included CAM student Sumaiyah Patel, who won the Love Food Hate Waste UCB Student Challenge in the summer. 

Third-year Culinary Arts Management student Kimberley Kenyon scooped first prize for her lemon and blueberry bread and butter pudding, served with mascarpone cream and blueberry compote. 

Kimberley, aged 20, from Sutton Coldfield, said: “I came up with the idea just because I know lemon and blueberries work well together. I wanted to add more flavour to the traditional bread and butter pudding we're all used to.

“The Hate Waste campaign is a great initiative because food waste in the UK is a much bigger problem than a lot of people realise. Anything we can do as a nation to try and reduce the amount of food we waste is a good idea. Plus, who doesn't love pudding?” 

The runners up were Alec-John McLaren (chicken and mushroom pie) and Gregory Evans (goats’ cheese and wild mushroom bread and butter pudding). All received Co-operative gift vouchers and chocolates and Kimberley has been invited to film a step-by-step guide to her recipe to share with Central England Co-operative customers. 

The students were drawn from a number of courses including Culinary Arts Management, Food and Consumer Management and Professional Cookery. 

Senior lecturer Bernhard Schumacher said: “It is great to see students of different programmes come together to showcase their awareness of current industry challenges such as minimising food wastage. The culinary flair shown by the competitors to produce their creative dishes utilising stale bread was inspirational.’’

Viktoria Salisbury, Community Partnership Project Manager for Love Food Hate Waste, said: “The standard of creativity and skill was truly impressive and the students really showed how leftover bread can star in stunning recipes. Managing food waste is a big issue in the UK and bread is one of the foods which we most frequently throw away yet it is such a versatile cooking ingredient.” 

 

Kimberley’s lemon and blueberry bread and butter pudding, mascarpone cream and blueberry compote. (Serves 4)

 

Sauce Anglaise:

Stale/leftover sliced white bread: 8 slices

Pasteurized egg yolk: 250g

Caster sugar: 250g

Double cream: 1 litre

Half a vanilla pod, seeds removed

Lemon curd: 150g

Fresh blueberries: 150g

Juice of half a lemon

 

Compote:

Fresh blueberries: 100g

Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon – juice of half the lemon

Cold water: 50ml

Caster sugar: 40g

 

Cream:

Mascarpone: 100g

Double cream: 150ml

Half vanilla pod, seeds removed

Icing sugar: 50g

 

Method:

  • Tear bread into small pieces, cover and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Place lemon curd into a piping bag if applicable (can be spooned on otherwise)
  • Soak the fresh blueberries in the juice of half a lemon.
  • Combine the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, whisk gently.
  • Place 1 litre of double cream into a heavy based pan with the vanilla seeds and pod.
  • Bring cream to the boil, watching to ensure it does not boil over.
  • Remove the pod from cream.
  • Slowly pour a small amount of the cream over the sugar and egg mix, whisk together gradually adding more cream until all is incorporated.
  • In the individual ramekin or large baking dish create a layer of bread. Using a ladle cover all of the bread in sauce Anglaise.
  • Pipe or spoon dots of the lemon curd throughout the layer, then scatter a small handful of blueberries over the layer of bread.
  • Repeat this process until all the bread and other ingredients are incorporated into the dish/dishes.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top of the dish is crisp and golden brown.
  • While the pudding is baking, make the blueberry compote, prepare the mascarpone cream.
  • Remove the 100g of blueberries from the lemon juice and combine with the water, lemon juice/zest and sugar in a small saucepan on a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
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