The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
Oooh, I love pudding! For ages I wondered what to make. The beauty of the steamed pudding (like ice cream), is that it's a blank canvas for whatever your heart desires, and the variations are endless. In the end I couldn't decide, so I thought I'll make a few. I initially wanted to make both the sponge pudding and the crust pudding, but decided that I'm not going to make life difficult for myself (more than I already am by deciding to make four different puddings). The Little Girl is cutting her teeth at the moment, and not sleeping that well, so I thought it's best to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. You never know when she might wake up and want some mummy time. Luckily this is one of those forgiving desserts. Abandoning it at any stage for an unforseen time is perfectly okay, and if it steams for a few minutes more, that's perfectly okay as well. My kind of recipe. As it turned out, the Little Girl is still sleeping soundly, even after making, photographing and eating the puddings, and now writing about them.
The four puddings I made were: White Chocolate and Raspberry, Dark Chocolate and Pear, Pistachio and Rose Petal and Pecan Nut, Treacle and Bourbon pudding. I loved all of them. The Fabulous Man loved all of them. But our favourite favourite was the raspberry one. I've always loved the combination of tart raspberry and sweet white chocolate, and this time around I wan't disappointed either.
I found that the 6 to 8 tablespoons of milk in the original recipe wasn't near enough. I ended up using about 12, and after dividing the batter into 4, I added some more milk to two of the batches. These two ended up a bit spongier (is that a word?), so next time I'll do the same. Alway go with your instinct.
I'm really glad with how well this all turned out. Steamed pudding isn't something I would've considered making before this, so thanks to the Daring Bakers for pushing me out of my comfort zone. Can't wait to see what's next.
Steamed Pudding Four Ways
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
10 tablespoons cold milk
1 tablespoon dried rose petals
4 drops rosewater
2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon cocao
4 tinned baby pears
1/3 cup pecan nuts, toasted
2 teaspoons treacle
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
20g chopped white chocolate
30g chopped white chocolate
3 tablespoons cream
30g dark chocolate
3 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons rose petal syrup (or make your own by heating 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, 2 ml rose water and a drop of pink food colouring together in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar has melted)
extra rose petals for garnish
- Butter 4 ramekins, tea cups or pudding dishes thoroughly. Keep aside.
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Add breadcrumbs, suet and sugar. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk. If the batter isn't soft enough, add more milk until you're happy with the consistency.
- Divide the batter into 4.
For the chocolate and baby pear pudding:
Mix the cocao into one quarter of the batter. Place the baby pears into the bottom of the dish, and cover with the chocolate batter.
For the raspberry and white chocolate pudding:
Place the frozen raspberries into the bottom of the dish. Fold the chopped white chocolate into another quarter of the batter, and spoon over the raspberries.
For the pistachio and rose petal pudding:
Place the chopped pistachios in the botton of the dish. Fold the rose petals through another quarter of the batter, and spoon over the nuts.
For the treacle pecan nut pudding:
Spoon the treacle into the bottom of the ramekin dish. Pack the pecan nut halves to form a single layer on the treacle. Mix the bourbon into the leftover batter, and spoon over the pecan nuts.
Cover the ramekins securely with greaseproof paper and string, and steam for 1 hour.
Turn the puddings out onto a big tasting platter. Spoon the white chocolate sauce over the raspberry pudding, the chocolate sauce over the chocolate and pear pudding, and the rose petal syrup over the pistachio and rose petal pudding. There should be enough treacle over the pecan nut pudding to form a sauce.
To make the white chocolate sauce:
Melt the white chocolate and the cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until smooth.
To make the dark chocolate sauce:
Melt the dark chocolate and the cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until smooth.