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The Proof Is In The Pudding – Steamed Sticky Date Pudding And Marbled Vanilla & Chocolate Pudding! Daring Baker’s Ch

Posted Apr 27 2010 12:00am


hen this month’s challenge was revealed at the Daring Bakers forum, to say I wasn’t exactly thrilled would be an understatement. The reason being, as you would all know by now, that the nature of the main ingredient was not exactly palatable given my vegetarian diet or my sensibilities.

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.

Of course, this being a personal opinion, I was planning to sit out this challenge till Esther clarified that we could use butter. The main challenge this month was to make a steam cooked British style “pud”, sweet or savoury, using any recipe of our choice.
That made things a whole lot better.

Steam cooking is something I’m very familiar with. As a south Indian, a lot of our traditional cooking involves steaming, especially quite a few of our breakfast dishes which are cooked this way.
So the method of cooking this involved in this month’s pudding wasn’t a challenge for me, and I’m sure for most of the DB members of Asian origin.


Sticky Date Pudding With Butterscotch Sauce:


Yet I have never made a steamed British style pudding even though I have always wanted to try my hand at a sticky date pudding. Well, this was the perfect opportunity. We love dates and I always have some in stock.




I adapted this recipe  and adjusted it to ingredient, taste and serving preferences. Here’s my recipe and I used dariole moulds to make single serves rather than one big pudding. This recipe serves 5 or 6, depending on the size of your moulds.



Ingredients:


For the pudding:

1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup boiling water

50 gm butter, softened (at room temperature)

3/4 cup loosely packed demerara (or brown) sugar

1 egg

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

For the butterscotch sauce:

3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 cup light cream (25%)

60 gm butter



Method:


To make the butterscotch sauce, put all three ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together till combined. Over low heat, keep stirring the sauce till the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat and keep aside.


To make the pudding:

Put the dates in a bowl and add the boiling water. Now add the baking soda, mix and allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes.
Blend the mixture till smooth. I prefer to blend till the mixture is smooth with some small date pieces in it.

Put the date mixture into a bowl and add the butter, egg, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon till combined. Divide the mixture equally between 5 or 6 well greased moulds.

Cover the moulds with aluminium foil squares making a fold in the center. This will allow the pudding to rise well. Tie the foil down using string or with rubber bands. If you’re using rubber bands, ensure they’re not the kind that melts!
Place the moulds on a steamer plate ensuring there is enough water in it but the level is not too high to get into the moulds.
Steam cook the puddings for about 30 to 45 minutes. If you poke a skewer through the pudding it should come out clean when done.

Remove the puddings from the steamer and remove the foil caps. Allow to cool in the moulds for about 10 minutes and then unmould the puddings. They should slip out easily.

These puddings are normally served warm during winter, but given the heat of the summer right now, I served the puddings at room temperature with chilled butterscotch sauce.


Marbled Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding:


I did initially experiment with a steamed jam sponge from one of my cookbooks - by Mary Berry. This book has a wonderful variety of desserts which are quite easy to make.




While that pudding turned out well, I wasn’t particularly excited by the jam in it. This is probably because I’m not overly found of jam and find it too sweet.

So I decided to use that Jam Pudding recipe and adapt it to make a marbled chocolate and vanilla pudding. The recipe I used to make my pudding is given below. This recipe serves 4.




Ingredients:


For the pudding:

100 gm butter, softened (at room temperature)

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

about 1 tbsp milk

2 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract


For the eggless custard sauce:

500 ml cold milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp vanilla flavoured custard powder



Method:


To make the custard sauce, keep aside about 1/4 cup milk aside. Boil the remaining with sugar. Dissolve the custard powder in the 1/4 cup milk and add it to the boiling milk, stirring constantly to ensure no lumps form.
Keep stirring the mixture till the custard thickens a bit into a sauce.


To make the pudding:

Sieve the baking powder, salt and flour together and keep aside.
Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg and beat well. Add the flour and fold it into the mixture with a spoon. Add just enough milk to give the batter a dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture into two equal portions. To one add the vanilla extract and mix well. Blend the cocoa powder with a little water to a thick paste and add to the other portion. Mix well.

Grease individual four dariole moulds with butter or oil and put alternate spoons full of batter equally into the moulds.

Cover the moulds with aluminium foil squares making a fold in the center. This will allow the pudding to rise well. Tie the foil down using string or with rubber bands. If you’re using rubber bands, ensure they’re not the kind that melts!

Place the moulds on a steamer plate ensuring there is enough water in it but the level is not too high to get into the moulds.
Steam cook the puddings for about 30 to 45 minutes. If you poke a skewer through the pudding it should come out clean when done.

Remove the puddings from the steamer and remove the foil caps. Allow to cool in the moulds for about 10 minutes and then unmould the puddings. They should slip out easily.
Serve the puddings with the custard sauce.


Verdict:


As a Daring Baker challenge, there was very little that challenged me this month. I'm not complaining as it is nice, once in a while, to be within my kitchen comfort zone and not get myself worked up over a DB challenge!
We liked both the puddings. In fact, I should say we like steamed sponge puddings. I think what I really liked was the spongy texture of the puddings with its moist and melt-in-the-mouth quality.

While these puddings might not be unusual or very pretty to look at, they are very easy to make and are an excellent choice when the demand is for a dessert with a light feel.

The sticky date pudding was definitely the star of this show.
In fact, the first time I made it I wasn’t able to get pictures of it. Our daughter actually suggested, with my husband agreeing very enthusiastically, that I could make it again so that I could get my pictures and they could have it for dessert again.
Akshaya doesn’t make this sort of statements very often!


Oh, and do not forget to take a peek at what the other Daring Bakers have been doing this month.

P.S. :
It seems that some of the comments are not appearing on my previous couple of posts. I have no idea why this is happening and have complained.
So it is possible that you might find your comment not appearing as soon as you push "Publish" button. I don't know where it is going either.
I am hoping the problem will be solved soon. Thanks for bearing with me.

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