Lavender & Lovage's and What Kate Baked's February's Tea Time Treats challenge is puddings, which tied in well with my intention to experiment with steamed sweet puddings with a view to selling them at the Country Market. This was not strictly my first pudding but first I managed to remember to photograph before the kids ate it.
My first was a jam steamed pudding. Cooked a little too gently in the slow cooker, it flopped and spread onto the plate. Although the jam did crown it beautifully even if I say so myself. And the kids wolfed it down.
My second was a Steamed Treacle Sponge Pudding a la Delia. Steamed on the stove, it did sit very pertly on the plate when turned out. Sadly I only made one and the three children having tea (two of my own and one guest) wolfed it all down again making very reassuring noises.
So the recipe below is a repeat performance of the above pudding. It filled three small (3/4 pint/450ml) plastic pudding basins which I crammed three into a domed roasting tray balanced on a trivet. I had feared I had steamed them too vigourously judging by the bulging foil cooking lids. But the resulting puds still was surprisingly 'creamy' inside - maybe because I'm lazy and didn't bother to sift the flour and used the food processor blade to mix everything. Next time I'll try sifting, whisking, and steaming in baking tray in the oven to see if I can make the pert little sponge puddings Delia achieves!
1 tablespoon black treacle
3 tablespoons golden syrup
6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
6 oz (175 g) butter, softened
3 large eggs
6 oz (175 g) soft light brown sugar
3 extra tablespoons golden syrup
custard or crème fraîche
First generously butter your pudding basin. Delia recommends a 2 pint/1.2l basin. I used 3 3/4 pint/450ml plastic Christmas pudding basins so I could microwave them later to heat the pudding, plus I find them easier to turn the pudding out with just a little squeeze. Put the golden syrup at the bottom of the buttered basin or divide it between how ever many basins you are using.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the softened butter, eggs, sugar and black treacle. Beat the mixture with an electric hand whisk for about 2 minutes until it's thoroughly blended. Spoon the mixture into the basin/s and level the top using the back of the spoon.
Cut a piece of greaseproof paper and foil into a square large enough to fit your pudding basin/s. Place the cut foil over the greaseproof paper, make a pleat in the centre, and place this, foil-side uppermost, on top of the pudding. Pull it tightly round the top and tie the string firmly just below the lip of the basin. Trim off the excess paper all the way round. Don't be tempted to use the plastic lid instead if you have one. I tried this and the puddingy goodness oozed out. So yet again, trust Delia's experience on this and make a 'proper' greaseproof paper and foil lid!
Stand the basins on a trivet or plate in a large pan. Pour boiling water have way up the sides and cover with a well fitting lid or make a tented lid with more foil well crimped around the edges of the pan. Steam for 2 hours, checking the water level halfway through.
To serve, loosen the pudding all round using a palette knife or gently squeeze the plastic basin. Delia suggests pouring over extra golden syrup and serving with custard or some well chilled crème fraîche. I found these quite sweet enough without.