A couple of days ago I went to Marks and Spencer to get some lunch and I came across a box that caught my eye, mostly because of the contents but then I saw what the box said…… “Life’s too short for washing up” I couldn’t believe it! It was a bacon and cheese sandwich in a plastic wrapping. That is not too exciting BUT the kicker is……you bake the sandwich in the unopened plastic bag eliminating the need to wash a baking tray! Genius! A store after my own heart! Not only do they sell the best custard there is, they also advocate AND facilitate not washing dishes! I’m sure gonna miss them when I move back to the US. The sandwich wasn’t shabby either.
I’ve always had a sweet tooth so it was no surprise that I quickly acquainted myself with British dessert, or puddings as they call them here, as soon as I knew I’d be spending lots of time here. I tried several but two in particular really tickled my fancy; sticky toffee pudding and golden syrup pudding. I had never heard of either but they are very popular British desserts. By this time I knew better than to expect to see something akin to the “pudding” stuff we are used to in the US when the word “pudding” was mentioned here. Two years later, I still can’t get enough of either pudding, although I have had to slow down due to an ever expanding waistline. I had never made either but I had nearly all the ingredients for golden syrup pudding so I decided it to give it a go.
Most of these puddings, including other British classics such as the infamous spotted dick, are steamed which means they take a long time to cook. You can make them in one big pudding basin or in little, individual ones or if you are not up to it, you can just by buy them. Because buying them at the local supermarket is not going to be a choice in the US, I figured I better do it the right way so I can do it later because I can’t imagine an entire life without sticky toffee or golden syrup!
For this pudding, you will need either a pudding basin with its own lid or a regular pudding basin, wax paper, kitchen foil and kitchen string. If using the latter, it is a bit tricky to do tie the waxed paper and foil by yourself but it is possible, however, two sets of hands will make it a very easy task. I was alone so I had to manage. First, cut one piece of waxed paper and one piece of foil large enough to cover the top of the basin with plenty of overhang. Take the waxed paper and wrap it around the top of the basin and tie in place, taut, with the string. If you need something to hold the paper in place while you tie, you can use a heavy plate that is larger than the top of the basin. Do the same with the foil paper. Cut three long pieces of string to make the handle. Place the first one around the basin and the other two next to the basin, passing them under the first string so that when you tie around the basin you have two pieces of string at either side. Finally tie the two pieces of string at the sides together to from a handle. It’s very hard to describe so I have included a picture of what the finished product looks like. This is not the only way to do this, it’s just the way I could manage. I would have done step by step photos but I had no one take them while I worked.
The pudding basin needs to be large enough to accommodate all the batter and allow for rising. I used a 1 3/4 liter or so basin.
Golden Syrup Pudding
175 g very soft unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
175 g self-raising (rising) flour
175 g caster (superfine) sugar
3 large eggs
3 tbsp (45 ml) milk
250g golden syrup
Put a large stockpot on the heat with enough water to come halfway up the basin and bring it to a boil.
In the mean time, put the butter, flour, sugar, eggs, milk and the juice of half the lemon in a bowl and beat until blended, adding a little bit more milk if needed. The batter should be thick but of pouring consistency.
Butter the pudding basin. Mix the golden syrup and the juice of the other half of the lemon and pour in the bottom of the basin. Pour the batter on top of the golden syrup and cover the basin. If using a lidded basin, remember to butter the lid. Put the basin into the stockpot of boiling water and put the lid on. Boil for two hours.
Make sure you do not let the stockpot boil dry. Keep a source of boiling water, such as a kettle, handy so you can refill it if needed.
When ready, remove the basin from the stockpot and let it rest of a couple of minutes but not longer. Turn out onto a large, deep plate taking care not to spill the sauce.
Golden syrup is next to impossible to find in most of the world. If you can’t get a hold of it, you can use corn syrup or light molasses instead. It wouldn’t be golden syrup pudding per se but it would still be nice.
As you can see, I am not giving the US cup equivalent for the ingredients. I am not just being lazy, I have good reason for that. Living here in the UK, I have come to appreciate and like the ease, and undeniable superiority, of weighing ingredients rather than measuring them, specially for dry ingredients. It doesn’t matter if you weigh in ounces or grams but doing so is much more accurate than measuring. It has really grown on me. As matter of fact, I’d go as far as saying that I much more prefer the metric system in the kitchen than the irrational system we use in the US. I kept the metric measurements because most kitchen scales these days can do metric as well as imperial.
According to my husband, who is currently stuffing his face with the pudding, it’s delicious. He hasn’t actually said so but it is what I gather from his “uuuummmm……hhhh……..hhhmm….” He’s gone back for seconds.