This steamed pudding is nostalgia on a plate and the perfect comfort food. This classic recipe for treacle sponge pudding is a great place to start if you want to add steamed puddings to your repertoire.
- 175g (6oz) butter, very soft, plus extra for buttering
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extraxct
- Butter a 1.2 litre (2pt) pudding basin and line the base with a snug-fitting circle of nonstick baking paper. Place an upturned saucer in the base of a large lidded pan. It should fit snugly and allow for the whole pudding basin to sit inside the pan.
- Make a lid for the basin by cutting out a large circle of baking paper and one of tin foil, both 6cm (2 1⁄2in) larger than the top of the basin. Butter one side of the baking paper. Put the foil on top of the paper, buttered- side down, and fold a pleat down the centre. Have some kitchen string ready to tie the lid in place when needed.
- Spoon 3 tbsp golden syrup into the basin. Put the rest of the syrup in a mixing bowl with all the other sponge ingredients and whip together for a good minute using a hand-held electric beater, until smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into the basin, levelling the top. Cover with the foil lid, buttered-side down. Bring the sides down around the basin and tie tightly with string; leave enough string to tie a ‘handle’ with which to lift the pudding out.
- Stand the basin on the saucer and carefully pour boiling water into the pan until it reaches half way up the pudding side. Place over a low heat, put the pan lid on and gently steam it for 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the sponge (through the paper and foil) comes out clean. Have a kettle of hot water ready to top up the water level if needed; it shouldn’t fall too low or boil dry. Remove the pan lid and carefully lift the pudding basin out of the saucepan.
- Remove the string and pudding basin lid. Place an upturned serving plate (with a lip to catch the sauce) on top. Turn the whole lot over and lift the basin away. Serve with cream, custard or ice cream.