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.
Also with this challenge it was about the method used for making the pudding: a dish cooked in a pudding bowl or cloth, a sweet or savoury one.
As you probably have guessed already I chose the sweet one ;-)
At first I didn't have a clue about the suet, but after reading a bit more what Esther wrote about it I almost fainted :S ;-).... " the best fat is the one around the kidneys...". Well, for me the almost vegetarian one in the house, this is not going to work out ;-) She also gave us the option of using another kind of fat, like for example Crisco. I use that for rolling out the fondant for my decorated cakes and the idea of eating that kind of (really bad) fat, was not an option either. Luckily Esther also said we could choose normal butter and yes, with that one I could agree completely ;-) Nothing better than the rich taste of butter in a pudding or cake ;-) :-D
The recipe I chose (after reading all Esther her versions and links to even more Pudding recipes) is the one of Nigella Lawson. It is a quite simple recipe, with lots of butter in it ;-) and lots of lemon and I do love that!!
The idea of cooking the pudding in a huge pan of water seemed really homey to me ;-), I felt like those housewives in the early days, making a pudding/cake on their stove while they were doing their normal chores at home (well, about the last thing I have to admit that I simply watched my recorded series on tv ;-) :-D). It was a great experience, so Esther thanks a lot!!
The pudding came out great, and tasted great too. It had a smooth, silky texture, melting in your mouth, so also really nice. But I have to confess that for me it felt like a good baked cake (like a Spanish yoghurt cake or my favourite buttermilk cake), the lemon in it was delicious but no, the next time I don't think I will opt for this recipe again.
Next time for dessert I just make a pudding the way my brain says pudding is supposed to be: creamy, soft and eating it with a spoon ;-) :-D
Steamed sponge pudding with lemon syrup (Nigella Lawson)
175 g of butter, very soft
175 g of flour, self raising (or just adding baking powder to it)
175 g of fine sugar
3 large eggs
zest of 1 big limon and half of its juice
3 (of a bit more in my case) spoons of milk
275 g of mermelade (orange or lemon, I used lemon mermelade)
Fill a big pan with water, one that is big enough to have a pudding bowl of about 1 ¾ litre in it. It needs to have a fitting lid on top. You need to fill it with enough water so that the water will come up to about half or 2/3 of the pudding bowl. Bring it to boil
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix well till a soft and creamy mixture. Add the eggs, one by one, and mix shortly. Add the lemon zest and flour and mix for another short while till combined. Add the milk, in my case I needed some more milk, till you have a smooth, thick liquid mixture. Grease the pudding bowl with some butter or oil and mix the mermelade with the lemon juice. Put it on the bottom of the bowl, and add the pudding mixture on top of it.
Place a piece of baking paper on top of the bowl (make a fold in it so the batter can still rise enough) and secure it with a piece of rope. Add than a piece of aluminium foil on top of it (so it won't get wet on top) and also secure this with a piece of rope. Place the bowl in the big pan and put the lid on top. And that's all ;-)
Let the pudding simmer for about 2 hours, more is ok, less not ;-) And in the meanwhile check from time to time that the water has the same level, if not, simply add some boiling water to the pan. To take the bowl out of the pan I used to big spoons and simply lifted it from the pan. Let is rest for a few minutes, not longer and put it on a large plate (make it a LARGE plate because the sauce will take a lot of space).
And that's all, folks! ;-) Here another pic of the inside of the Steamed Sponge Pudding.