Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April's Daring Baker Challenge: Steamed Pudding

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.

When I read that this month's DB challenge would be the classic British pudding, I was more than excited! I'd already tried my hand at making this type of dessert once before (when I made my steamed Christmas pudding) and now I was going to have another go! Mmmm... I remember the last time I made a steamed pudding it was very tasty indeed, so this time I was ready to have at it. For my topping I used an Apple-cinnamon and Caramel sauce compote. I then strained the compote from the cooking liquid, reduced the liquid and used this as the deliciously sweet drizzlings for my final product. It turned out fantabulous!

This month's challenge allowed for many variations of the classic British pudding, from savory & crusty, to sweet & crusty, to sweet & cakey... I went for the latter.

Steamed Suet Pudding (Sponge type)

(100 grams/4 ounces) All-purpose flour
(1/4 teaspoon) salt
(1.5 teaspoons) Baking powder
(100 grams/4 ounces) breadcrumbs
(75 grams/3 ounces) Caster sugar
(75 grams/ 3 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(1) large egg
(6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk

1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl.
2. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and suet.
3. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk
4. Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil.
5. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours
6. Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.


Apple-Caramel Pudding (my variant) - in a saucepan combine 3 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp each cloves and nutmeg, 3 tbsp brown sugar and 3 tbsp heavy cream. Heat over medium until the sugar melts, then add 3 medium apples (peeled and chopped). Cook until apples have sweated and the sauce begins to thicken, 5-10minutes (sauce may still be fairly liquid). Strain the compote from the liquid, mix 1/4 cup of compote with pudding batter and use the remaining compote to cover the bottom of the steaming bowl. Set caramel liquid aside to cool and drizzle over top of cake when steamed and sliced.
Spotted Dick - Add 75g/ 3oz currants and 25g/1 oz of mixed chopped peel with the sugar.
Syrup or Treacle or Marmalade Pudding – put 2 Tablespoons of golden syrup, treacle or marmalade at the bottom of the bowl before adding pudding mix.
My Fair Lady Pudding – Add finely grated rind of 1 medium orange or lemon with the sugar.
Ginger Pudding – replace the sugar with 100g/4oz of treacle, and add 1/2 tsp ground ginger.

With the help of my mom's good ol' fashioned and trusty Corel bowl and my pop's giant, heavy-bottomed steaming pot I was able to steam with ease. Who knew my parent's kitchen would be the perfect place to steam some British pudding?

At first glance, my sister was wary of trying the pudding-cake concoction. But once I told her it was a "British" pudding she practically jumped at the chance to try a piece. See... my sister and I are pretty much obsessed with all things British. There music, culture and television programs out-do the ones we have in North America by far! In fact, here's a list of some of our favorite:

- Music: Radiohead, MUSE, Arctic Monkeys, The Rumble Strips, The Cribs, Klaxxons, The Wombats, Streets, The Hoosiers, Mystery Jets, Mumm-ra, The Holloways
- Tele: The Mighty Boosh, Doctor Who, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI, The IT Crowd, Life on Mars, Off the Hook, BBC's Robin Hood
- Comedians: Simon Pegg, Lee Mack, David O'Doherty, Bill Bailey, Phil Jupitus, Jon Richardson
- Mini-series: Shakespeare Re-told, Gormenghast
- Radio: BBC Radio 1 (especially DEV in the morning!)