Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Gingerbread pudding

This pudding is an ultimate old school restoration project. It tastes old fashioned, it's not too rich, it's full of flavor and it's good stodge. Perfect for a weekend in Dorset.

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Over the weekend, we headed to Dorset (post to come) where we spent every possible minute outdoors, soaking up the spring sun and breathing in the fresh air.

After plenty of fresh air, big hikes and games on a windy beach, we headed home to tuck into a hearty gingerbread pudding. Hot, filling and with a touch of treacle and ginger, this is a real restorer of a pud (served with lots of warm custard, it brings you right back to life).

It's made with no butter (so is dairy free), and doesn't use real ginger, just dried. I imagine fresh ginger was hard to come by in the early 1900s.

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Gingerbread pudding is steamed (a popular method back in the early 20th century). It's as easy as pie to prepare, will steam away happily all by itself for several hours before sliding out onto a plate to eat.

Steamed puddings like to be cooked long and slow. They pop out light, fluffy and moist. As is the case with most old fashioned steamed puddings, the recipe calls for suet. Suet is definitely underrated, but if the thought of eating it doesn't appeal there is a vegetarian option available which is a perfectly fine substitute. If you go for this, I ask one thing of you, read the packet and please make sure that it is not made from palm oil.

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 "1/2 1b. of flour, 1/4 1b. of suet chopped very finely, 1/2 a cup of dark brown sugar, a tea-cupful of treacle, a teaspoonful of baking powder 2 teaspoonfuls of ground ginger, 3 eggs beaten well, 2 tables-spoonful of milk. Put the flour, ginger, baking powder, sugar and suet in a basin, mix all well together, then pour in the treacle, stir all well together, lastly add the eggs and milk. Boil in a buttered mould for three hours. When well made it should be as light as possible." 

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220g Plain flour

110g Suet

50g Brown Sugar

1 espresso shot worth of treacle

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs (beaten)

2 tbsp milk

Cut out two large circles(8 cm wider than the top of your pudding bowl) from silver foil and from baking parchment. Overlay them and fold in the middle to create a flap.

Grease a medium sized pudding basin.

Mix all the ingredients together (and if needed for extra air use a food processor).

Pour into your pudding basin.

Place the folded baking paper and silver foil over the top of the pudding basin and secure with string.

To prepare the steamer, boil the kettle and fill a saucepan 2/3s full with hot water. Place something in the bottom of the pan (a small dish or a metal cookie cutter for example). This is for your pudding bowl to sit on so as to not burn the bottom and ensure the pudding is evenly cooked through.

Place your pudding carefully into the saucepan (making sure it is balanced on whatever is placed in the bottom) and simmer slowly for 3 hours.

Once ready, turn out onto a plate and serve with custard. For extra taste, place crystallized stem ginger and syrup on the top.

This pudding is delicious (if not better) heated up the next day for seconds!

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