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Oil a deep ovenproof baking dish (ours was 20 x 30cm). Tip the rhubarb, ½ the vanilla bean paste, the orange juice and 1 tbsp of the sugar into a saucepan and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4 mins until the rhubarb
is soft but still holding its shape. Transfer to a bowl and set aside in the fridge to cool.
Meanwhile, put the remaining vanilla paste in a large jug with most of the remaining sugar (reserve 1 tbsp for sprinkling over the top later), the cardamom, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests, stem ginger and syrup, eggs, milk and cream. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined. Pour half the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Lightly press the brioche slices into it, then turn them over so they’re thoroughly soaked. Arrange the slices so they fit snugly in the dish. Pour over the remaining egg mixture, then dot over the cooked rhubarb and sprinkle over any of its liquor left in the bowl. Cover and keep chilled for at least 1 hr or overnight.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Sprinkle with the reserved sugar and bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden. Leave to rest for 5 mins, dust with icing sugar and serve.
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