You can’t get a more English dessert than a traditional steamed pudding. My favourite is treacle pudding, which makes the most wonderful winter comfort food. The only problem is, they take such a long time to cook! The recipe I’m about to share would take an hour and a half if you chose to cook it in the traditional way (which is also a bit of a faff); but the brilliant thing about this recipe is that it can be done in the microwave, cooking in just four minutes, with an extra five minutes to stand afterwards. Perfect if you want to rustle up something impressive for dessert but don’t have much time.
I found this recipe while doing a clear-out, and it had been photocopied from a book (I don’t remember which one – not a well-known one). I apologise in advance for the terrible quality of the photos on this one; I made it in the evening, and with no natural light it’s virtually impossible to get a decent photo in our kitchen.
125g butter or margarine (margarine is a lot easier to work with)
4 tbsp golden syrup
90g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp warm water
Custard (to serve)
Grease a pudding basin with some of the margarine, and spoon four tablespoons of golden syrup into it.
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth (this is why I said that margarine is a lot easier to work with!). Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Sift the self-raising flour and baking powder a bit at a time into the mixture, and gently fold in using a metal spoon. When you’ve added all the flour, the mixture should have a soft, dropping consistency; if it’s a bit thick, add a couple of tablespoons of warm water to soften.
Spoon the mixture onto the top of the golden syrup in the pudding basin, smooth the top of the mixture and cover the basin with cling film. Pierce a hole in the film.
You can pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it, or if you’re ready to eat it now, pop it in the microwave on maximum power for four minutes. Then take it out and let it stand for five minutes (it continues to cook). When it comes out, it’ll look like this. Don’t worry if the edges look a little soggy – that’s just the condensation from the microwave, and won’t affect the taste or texture.
While it’s cooking and being left to stand, make some custard. Try to stop people from eating it while it’s standing ;-)
Finally, serve with lashings of yummy custard. It serves about four to five people (we just had it over a couple of days).