Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Treacle Sponge

oops...



29/08 - 2655
3tbsp golden syrup, plus 3-4 extra to serve
175g self raising flour
1 rounded tsp baking powder
175g very soft butter
3 large eggs
175g soft light brown sugar
1tbsp black treacle

Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin well. Cut a double thickness of kitchen foil measuring approximately 30x40 cm.
Grease a tbsp and measure the 3tbsp golden syrup into the pudding basin.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and add the soft butter, eggs, sugar, and black treacle. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture for about 2 min or until it has thoroughly blended. Spoon the mixture into the basin and use the back of a spoon to level the top.
Cover the basin with the foil, making a pleat in the center. Pull the foil down the outside of the basin and tie in place around the rim with string, taking the string over the top and tying it on the other side to make a handle for easy lifting. Trim off the excess foil all the way around.
Place the pudding in a steamer fitted over the saucepan of boiling water and steam the pudding for 2 hours, checking the water level half way through.
To serve, loosen the pudding all around using a palette knife, invert it onto a warmed plate, and pour the extra syrup over the top before taking it to the table. Serve with custard or ice cream.

This was my first attempt at a real traditional pudding (I tried a sort of modern specialty one before). As you can see from the picture, it gave me a bit of trouble.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with British puddings (sponges), they are cakes, but instead of being baked, they are steamed. They make special bowls for steaming them (pudding basins), they look like Tupperware, just a bowl with a fitted lid. One very important tip is that you cannot put your pudding basin in the dishwasher. They all say they are dishwasher safe, but still, they will warp just enough that, though you won’t see a difference, the lid won’t fit anymore.

Making this was no problem at all. The trouble for me, is my lack of proficiency with the lids, and my inability to remove a cake from a tin without damaging it. With regular cakes I use baking paper and spring-form pans to compensate, but with the pudding basin, I just had to butcher the cake a little taking it out. I did butter it very thoroughly, but I think I was a bit hesitant and sloppy with the palette knife. As for the lid, It was actually fine, I just wasn’t sure it would be. I didn’t make a handle with string, I just took it out of the pot with pot holders.

Next time (because there will be a next time), I will make the handle, I will be confident about the lid, and I will be strong and efficient with the palette knife. I believe that after having this as a test run, it would not be too hard to work out the kinks and become a great pudding maker.

This was really tasty, though a bit over the top sweet. It tasted better then it looked.

8 comments:

Knit One said...

So is this black treacle from one of those treacle mines in England one hears about, or is it really just molasses? If I had a dollar for every cake I had that didn't come out of the pan nicely, I would be retired by now. Wait! I am retired now. Becky AKA Knit One

AteThat said...

Yeah, treacle is interesting because it seems to be somewhere in between molassas and syrup. This was fun to make, but soooo sweet. Can you get treacle over there?

Helaine said...

Hi atethat,
I have some questions. Maybe you can help me. Visiting friends in England 2001, they made us puddings. Thinking about them all the time, I finally decided to TRY make them myself. I found recipes and finally found golden syrup. I still haven't found actual treacle. I'm wondering if I can use Lyle's Golden Syrup and make your recipe without the black treacle. Aren't they kind of the same thing?

Also, if I'm understanding you correctly, I can put everything into a tightly covered Tupperware bowl? Do I omit the foil if I'm using a fitted cover? Do I then cover the pot or just set the bowl into the boiling water? Do I put the bowl on a rack in the pot?

Sorry for soooo many questions, but as you can tell, I'm soooo confused!

Thanks, Helaine

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