If you're here for Tuesdays with Dorie, check back later today for my post about Chockablock Cookies! Also, don't forget to enter my $100 gift card giveaway while you're here :)
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.
Suet is the hard but flaky fat found on the inside of a cow or sheep around the kidneys and that area of the body. Now, I am well aware that many good things are made with fat, or even lard for that matter. But I am one of those people who believes that ignorance is bliss. I can enjoy something made with lard as long as I don't know that there is lard in it :) So, even though I am sure that traditional British pudding made with suet is delicious, I simply could not bring myself to make anything with it!
Thankfully, Esther gave us the option to make a pudding without suet. The only requirement was that it be a steamed pudding. So, having discovered my love for sticky toffee pudding while vacationing in Grand Cayman, I decided that I would make that for this challenge :)
It seems to me that most recipes for sticky toffee pudding are baked in the oven, so I had to do some real searching before I could find a true pudding. I finally found a recipe on BBC Good Food - I think it's like the British version of epicurious :) This recipe was slightly different from traditional sticky toffee pudding in that it included apples instead of dates, but I love anything with baked apples, so I figured it was worth a try. (Plus I had apples in my fridge and no dates in my pantry!)
For this challenge my rice cooker came in really handy. You see, it comes with a steamer insert that made steaming my pudding a piece of cake (no pun intended). The only problem was that the steamer is fairly shallow, so I couldn't put a large bowl in it. So, I decided to use ramekins and make mini versions instead. In the end, the ramekins simplified things for me, as I didn't have any string on hand so I had to improvise. Instead of using string to seal the foil over the ramekins, I used rubber bands.
Here's how my pudding looked after it was done steaming!
I was a little worried about how this would taste, as I am fairly certain that every sticky toffee pudding I've ever tried was baked, not steamed. I am not sure why, but the thought of eating a dessert that was steamed just seemed weird to me. Luckily, I found my concerns to be completely unfounded - this was delicious! My husband even told me to hide the rest from him because he's trying to lose some weight and didn't want to eat all of it!
I've included the recipe I used below, though I apologize to those who do not have a kitchen scale. I intended to measure everything out so I could include it with the recipe but was rushed and did not get the chance to do this. You may want to use this link to figure out the conversions.
Thanks Esther, for hosting this month's challenge. I'm sorry I wasn't "daring" enough to make a pudding with suet, but I did challenge myself to try steamed pudding. Make sure you check out the Daring Bakers' Blogroll to see how everyone else enjoyed this traditional British dessert.
Apple Steamed Pudding with Sticky Toffee Sauce
from Olive Magazine as seen on BBC Good Food
175g unsalted butter , softened
4 eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm chunks (I used Fuji apples. I also added some cinnamon, to taste)
130g golden caster sugar (called superfine sugar in the US - if you don't have any, just put some sugar in your food processor and make your own)
50g walnuts , toasted & roughly chopped (I don't like nuts so I omitted these)
3 eggs , beaten
150g self-raising flour
175g light muscovado sugar (unrefined brown sugar)
125g unsalted butter
200g crème fraîche
Melt 25g butter in a large frying pan, add the apple chunks and cook until just tender and starting to turn golden. Add 1 tbsp sugar and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the apples start to caramelize. Cool and add the walnuts.
To make the sauce, tip all of the ingredients into a saucepan and cook until the butter and crème fraîché have melted. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
Tip the apple and walnut mixture into a buttered 1.5 litre pudding basin. Pour a third of the toffee sauce over, set aside.
Beat together the remaining butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Fold in the flour with a pinch of salt. Carefully spoon the mixture on top of the apples and spread level. Cover with a pleated sheet of baking parchment and foil, tie securely with string and trim off any excess paper and foil. Put the bowl in a large saucepan and pour boiling water around the bowl so that it comes halfway up the sides. Cover with a lid and steam for 1-1/2 hours, adding more water to the pan halfway though if needed.
Rest the pudding for 2 minutes before turning out into a dish and serving with the remaining warm toffee sauce.