Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge April 2010: Traditional British 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.

The required elements of this challenge are:

1) to make a suet pudding using real suet or as close a replacement as you can manage or is acceptable to you; and
2) to cook it by steaming or if you want to be even more traditional by boiling tied up in a cloth.

When I first read of this months challenge, I must confess that I felt very little enthusiasm. As a Brit who has never really gone in for traditional steamed puddings (give me a crumble any day), I wondered if I should just sit this one out... but I missed last months challenge... darn it... I hadn't meant to miss last month's challenge, in fact I got as far as making the marmalade, it's just that before I knew it posting day had been and gone... So anyway, I resolved not to duck out of this one and started to trawl through recipe after recipe for inspiration.

Ah yes! The delicious lemon marmalade I'd made! Kind of killing two birds with one stone, I thought ;-)

I then stumbled upon Allegra McEvedy's steamed marmalade & poppy seed pudding recipe


and yes, I was sooo excited that I couldn't wait to get cracking! No leaving things to the last minute this month, and MIL was coming for a visit so I had the perfect excuse to make it - hurrah!

I was so proud to carry this magnificent pudding to the table, glistening on the plate before being drenched in custard (naturally) - there was not a scrap left over - MIL had thirds! Esther, I'm so sorry that I ever doubted that I would enjoy this challenge. This recipe is now bookmarked and will be used time and time again!

Steamed Lemon Marmalade and Poppy Seed Pudding

8 tablespoons marmalade (I used my own home-made lemon marmalade)
4 tablespoons golden syrup (can't get it here, so I used mizu ame)
small knob of butter for greasing
150g flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 slices thick white bread, no crusts, torn into small pieces
120g suet (unavailable here, so I used shortening)
150g caster sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
pinch of salt
a few drops of vanilla
2 eggs
220ml milk

Use the butter to grease a two-litre pudding basin. Spoon half the marmalade and all the golden syrup into the bottom and give it a stir.

In a big mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, pieces of torn bread, suet, sugar, poppy seeds and salt.

Separately, in a smaller bowl, whisk up the eggs, vanilla essence, milk and the last of the marmalade. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mix in, gradually combining to make a smooth batter.

If the batter has come out very thick, add a splash more milk to loosen it up a touch, to what is called "dropping consistency". Then ladle it on top of the marmalade in the bottom of the basin.

Loosely cover with greaseproof paper and then a layer of foil and secure with string just under the lip of the basin (the greaseproof stops it sticking and the foil stops water getting in).

Arrange a few pastry cutters, or spoons or anything metal and reasonably low, in the bottom of a saucepan big enough to hold the basin, plus water to come about halfway up. Don't worry if you can't get a lid on – tight-fitting foil is OK too.

Sit the basin on your metal arrangement, pour in hot water to halfway up, cover with a lid/tight foil and bring to a boil. Once you see steam, turn it down to a simmer and, apart from checking the water level every now and then, forget about it for two hours.

Turning it out is simple and impressive – just run a knife around the edge, and turn upside down.


  1. Oooooh! Looks yummy :) I love steamed puds, well, ones made by my mum and gran anyway... with oodles of golden syrup!

    I have everything I need to make this except for the shortening, boo. I thought about ordering some from cuoca but then decided to wait till we get back from the UK. Kicking myself now.

    You know, I only realised really recently that shortening = the same as white flora. Never made the connection before I did some googling to see if I could find "white vegetable fat" in Japan for a recipe. Until then it was just something from Calvin and Hobbes (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_YB6eLZyGT7U/SX-JHVc0FzI/AAAAAAAAQCQ/dhSQK6PLfko/s1600/1.gif) or a line in a song to me! I now consider myself belatedly educated ;)

  2. Oh brilliant wondrous lemon and poppy seed pudding how I want to eat you all up. This is one of my favourite flavour combinations - superb job and 3rds were eaten. Bravo on you effort. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. This looks amazing! I've made poppyseed cakes with lemon syrup but this looks like the ultimate version! Wonderful job!

  4. I don't think your MIL would have gotten thirds if I was around!!! Maybe we would have had to junken!! It looks divine!

    I don't have a pudding basin (yes shame on me) is there anything else I can use?

  5. WOW lemon and poppy seed is one of my favourite and the pud looks so exquisite with all those poppy seeds. Lovely photograph. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  6. Oh that looks glorous I LOVE lemon and poppy seeds.. wonder if I could make one just for me.. do you think I could sneek it past my boys?? Actually one fo them might say "yuk seeds" which would be an extra portion for me! Glad you liked the challanege in the end!

  7. Wow well done Angela! I had to miss this month's challenge which was a bit upsetting as I have a pudding steamer but I'll toast to your sterling job! :D xxx

  8. this is absolutely stunning.

  9. Looks scrumptious!

  10. That looks great and I'm generally not a steamed pudding girl either. Of course the oodles of custard is always a good thing. yum yum.