Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Steamed Maple Puddings

Brrrr! When it's this cold I find the best thing to do is fortify oneself with a piping hot pudding. This steamed sponge is the perfect antidote to wintery weather and an absolute doddle to make. You should get two prodigious puddings out of the mixture, each one more than adequate for sustaining you and whoever you snuggle up with after eating them. I make no apologies for their near gargantuan heft. It's important to insulate in these conditions!

Prep time: 15 Mins
Baking (err I mean steaming) time: 60 Mins
75g Shredded Suet
75g Light Muscovado Sugar
75g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
1 Large Egg (Beaten)
2tbsp Milk
6tbsp Mixed Fruit (The nicest you can afford)
6tbsp Maple syrup

No preheating this time, although it's probably best to put the kettle on. In a large bowl mix together the shredded suet and sugar, then sift in the flour with the baking powder and do the same. Make a well in the middle, then pour in the egg and milk. Beat the mixture together until evenly combined. Fold through 3tbsp of the mixed fruit and set aside whilst you sort out the ramekins.

Speaking of which! Grease two ramekins (9cm diameter) and drizzle 1.5tbsp of maple syrup into the base of each. Take the fruit you have left over and scatter 1.5tbsp into both ramekins. Spoon your sponge mix into your ramekins, ensuring it's evenly divided. Cut out two squares of baking paper and two squares of foil, both equal in size and larger than the base of your ramekins. Lay a sheet of paper over the foil, then pleat (fold over, then back on itself) in the middle. Lay over the top of the ramekin, baking paper side down, fold over the edges and tie with string to secure. Repeat for the other ramekin. Place the ramekins in a large saucepan or casserole pan, then pour in hot water from the kettle, about halfway up the ramekins. Place the lid on the pan and let simmer on a low heat for 60 minutes, checking every 15 minutes and topping up the water if necessary.

After an hour, turn off the heat and leave in the water for five minutes, before carefully removing (They will still be hot!). Dry the ramekins off, then untie the string and gently remove the paper and foil. Run a flat bladed knife around the side of each pudding, before turning out onto a place or into a dish. Spoon over a final 1.5tbsp of maple syrup onto each pudding and they are ready to go. Don't forget the custard!

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