Use stale bread and the technique of putting the pudding into a make shift bain marie (water bath) does work!
Also making the pudding and resting in fridge before baking does help and adding the top layer (after this resting) quarantees a great result.
3 Tbsp raisins
3 Tbsp brandy
200ml milk (not skim or trim)
Vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence
Zest of ½ orange
50g slightly softened butter
6 slices white toast bread cut into triangles
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp demerara sugar
Nutmeg to grate
1. Put the fruit in a small bowl top with brandy and leave overnight covered on bench.
2. Put milk and vanilla pod or vanilla essence on to heat bring to just a simmer. Add orange zest. Cool.
3. Butter bread and the baking dish and arrange the slices in overlapping rows inside. Beat eggs with sugar till well mixed ( I used the mixer on full) and remove pod from milk and beat the milk and cream into egg mixture.
4. Pour about half over the bread, scatter fruit over and leave for 20 mins in fridge.
5. Preheat oven to 180degC. Arrange the rest of the bread and milk/cream mix over the bread, dot with any remaining butter and scatter the Demerara sugar/nutmeg over.
6. Place the baking dish in a large roasting tray and fill to half way up the sides with warm water. Bake for 35-45 mins until golden brown.