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Shave the light brown crust from the outside of the French stick with a bread knife and discard it. Cut the bready centre into cubes, about 5cm across.
In a saucepan, bring the milk, onion, bay leaf, butter, allspice and 3 tbsp of cream to the boil, reduce the heat then add the diced bread.
Gently simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, then allow to cool and remove the onion and bay leaf. The sauce can be refrigerated in a covered container overnight.
To serve, warm through gently in a pan, adding extra double cream to give a light, creamy consistency. Grind over some black pepper and serve.