I’m not sure what prompted me to make this pudding… I blame reading too many cook books and watching too many cooking shows, I’m always hungry, and never short of inspiration.
Gizzi Erskine was making this classic Steamed ginger pudding with vanilla custard on Perfect… the other week. I love Gizzi because she’s not only glamorous and edgy cool, but a healthy eating guru as well – to borrow from her website, “she creates food as stylish as she is”… And she inspires me to wear more vintage frocks in the kitchen.
It was unseasonally cold and I was craving something old-fashioned and warming. And this year I’m on the hunt for some alternative Christmas recipes, so this seemed like a good one to replace the traditional fruit pudding.
The ginger was probably the trickiest past of this recipe. Firstly, locating both the ginger and the syrup – I ended up buying some Buderim baby stem ginger in syrup from the Essential Ingredient. The recipe calls for both preserved stem ginger and ginger syrup – but there wasn’t enough syrup in one jar. If anyone knows where I can find the stand-alone syrup, please let me know! Secondly, determining how much ‘2 balls’ of the stuff was worth – two pieces was definitely not enough because the end result was more like a treacle pudding with a hint of ginger spice but I would have liked a bit more of that lingering ginger warmth on my tongue. Oh and I should have lined the base of the tin with some greaseproof paper as it stuck every so slightly – that’s the dodgy bit on top in the photo (which was like sticky caramel, and the best bit if you ask me!).
Taking all of that on board… how was it? Delicious! A warm treacly and spicy sponge pudding that we devoured with creamy vanilla ice cream.
Steamed ginger pudding (by Gizzi Erskine)
Serves: 8; Prep time: 25 minutes; Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
For the pudding:
150g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
150g golden caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
40g fresh white breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp milk
2 balls preserved stem ginger, chopped
2 Tbsp stem ginger syrup
pinch ground ginger
1 lemon, zest and juice
For the syrup:
25 ml ginger liqueur, or good ginger wine
1 lemon, juice only
4 Tbsp golden syrup
4 Tbsp stem ginger syrup
For the custard:
570ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
6 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1. For the ginger sponge pudding: In a food mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well between each one, and then sift over the flour and baking powder.
3. Add in the breadcrumbs, milk, stem ginger, syrup, ground ginger, zest and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt. Beat well until very creamy adding more milk to loosen the mixture if you have to.
4. For the custard: heat cream very gently with vanilla pod and seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
5. Once the egg and sugar are combined whisk in the cornflour. Gently add the slightly cooled (to prevent scrambling) cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking quickly.
6. Put the mixture back into the pan and on the heat. Whisk for five minutes until thick and creamy.
7. For the syrup: add the syrup ingredients into a small pan, bring to the boil then turn off heat.
8. Grease the pudding bowl very well with butter and pour the syrup mixture into the base.
9. Pour over the batter and cover with a square of pleated, buttered tin foil (the pleat in the middle of the foil will help the foil to expand once the pudding starts to rise). Secure with string or an elastic band.
10. Place in a deep pan, half filled with boiling water and cook on the stove for about 1½ hours. Once cooked, cool slightly and then turn out.
11. Add extra syrup over the finished pudding and serve with the custard.