27. travnja 2010.
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.
So, the Daring Bakers have become the Daring Steamers this month. I bet you didn't see that coming. Yeah, me neither, but I have to admit I had a great time steaming my dessert for a change.
I'm sure you all know about the British obsession with puddings. They love that stuff so much that they even use the word pudding for many different things:
1) black pudding and white pudding - sort of meat and grain sausage (black pudding uses blood as well as meat)
2) pudding — a generic word for desert
3) pudding — any dish cooked in a pudding bowl or pudding cloth normally steamed, boiled but sometimes baked.
4) an endearment (How are you today my pudding?)
I never quite understood that obsession with something so basic and plain as a pudding (be it sweet or savory), but thanks to Ester and this fabulous challenge I completely changed my mind. I absolutely loved it! So let's talk some more pudding, shall we?
The two basic types are a suet crust pudding with a filling or a suet sponge pudding.
Both types are traditionally steamed in a pudding basin for at least an hour and this is a technique some people rarely, if ever, use. However it is very simple and can be done with the simplest of equipment. All you really need is a reasonable size saucepan with a lid, ideally with a heat proof plate or a steamer rack to go in the bottom of the pan and heat proof bowl or similar container to cook the pudding in. What makes the British pudding so special is apparently an ingredient traditionally used to prepare it - 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. Since the thought of using suet sort of freaked me out and made me feel uncomfortable, I opted for the less traditional, but not less tasty substitute - plain old butter.
Thanks to our lovely hostess, we weren't limited to one recipe only this time, but could decide what kind of pudding we'll make and we were able to experiment with different textures and flavors. So, after a good thought and some research, I decided to make a sweet sponge pudding. Choosing a flavor was the hard part. There were so many different and interesting options! After much thought, I decided to make a fruity and refreshing pudding accompanied with a nice sauce which would complement it and bring out the flavor. In the end I made small individual lemon sponge puddings and served them with a lovely vanilla rum sauce and some strawberries. It was just wonderful! So moist and flavorful, yet so simple and easy. I'll be steaming some more desserts in the future for sure.
Steamed Lemon Pudding
100g butter, at room temperature
1 bag vanilla flavored sugar (10g)
zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100g all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. dark rum
strawberries and chopped pistachios to decorate
4 x 150ml ramekins (or a 600ml pudding bowl)
extra butter and flour for the ramekins
parchment paper and aluminum foil
Generously butter the ramekins and sprinkle with some flour. Cut out four circles out of parchment paper, slightly bigger than the ramekins. Repeat with the aluminum foil as well. Set aside.
Using and electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon zest and beat until the mixture becomes very light and fluffy (5 minutes). Slowly add the beaten eggs, beating well between each addition. Sift over the flour and baking powder and gently fold together with milk and rum.
Spoon the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. Cover each ramekin with parchment paper, making a pleat to allow the expansion. Then cover with a layer of aluminum foil and steam for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the puddings from heat and let them cool for 2-3 minutes. Then run a sharp knife around the edges of each ramekin and turn the puddings onto plates.
Drizzle generously with the vanilla rum sauce and serve with chopped pistachios and strawberries.
Vanilla Rum Sauce
200 ml milk
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
45g granulated sugar
1 bag vanilla flavored sugar (10g)
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp. dark rum
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside. Put the milk into a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla seeds and pod and heat on moderate heat. Once the milk begins to bubble remove the vanilla pod and add the egg mixture. Cook on high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens. Add rum, cook for a few more seconds, then remove from heat and strain through a sieve. Serve warm or at room temperature.