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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Brilliant Steamed Chocolate Pudding!

"Your face makes my soul want to eat chocolate pudding."  ~Andy Milonakis, Greek-American comedian and rapper

   I've never seen anything in the States equivalent to these puddings--be they savory or sweet--which are ubiquitous in the UK. I never experienced anything like them in America.
    If Americans know anything at all about English puddings, they are probably only familiar in passing with the British Christmas pudding--a concoction which contains beef suet along with raisins, spices, and things one thinks of in sweet cakes. The combo of suet with sweets puts most of us Americans off the whole thing. The idea it is steamed and then set on fire takes us beyond the fringe...
   So there I was perusing the Daily Mail Weekend Edition of the newspaper when lo and behold I came across this recipe for a really easy, yummy looking chocolate pudding and I thought, "Give it a go Jaq."
   I did and I have to tell you, it was the easiest dessert I've ever made--it ranks right up there with Angel Bars for ease and deliciousness. It looks gorgeous and tastes divine! 
   While this is called a steamed pudding, Americans should be led to understand that over here the word pudding is a stand-in for the word dessert. It can and does mean any sweet dish served last after the main meal. It is also called "puds..." as in what are we having for puds? So don't expect to steam this baby for 90 minutes and turn out something like a really firm Jello pudding. It is actually more of a cake. And what a cake! It has a light, large crumb and airy feel in the mouth but the rich, deep, indulgent flavor or dark chocolate flirting with orange. I am issuing a personal challenge to all of our American friends, family and readers--try this recipe just once and be sure to let me know what you think!!
   I made one for our Christmas dinner dessert. I opted to top it with a jar sauce from Tesco--salted caramel, served with a scoop of Kelly's of Cornwall Cornish cream Ice Cream. Which reminds me of one last thing in relation to desserts...over here Brits love custard and pour it liberally over anything sweet.  
   For Americans, think of Jello Vanilla pudding which has not quite set. Or for those of you who cook from scratch and have more than a passing acquaintance with high brow cooking, think Cream Anglaise.
   Every time Les asks for custard to pour over one of my lovely desserts--Rhubarb Crumble, chocolate brownies, or a slice of fresh baked cake, I just shake my head in sad disgust. For him it is a timeless tradition. For an American, it is two desserts. Two desserts! We yanks will sometimes order a slice of hot apple pie with a scoop of ice cream, knowing full well we are eating...two desserts. It is the leftover Puritan in us. So I thought I was being quite generous for Christmas puds: steamed chocolate pudding, salted caramel sauce and ice cream! Three desserts!!

(from the Daily Mail Weekend newspaper's Jamie Oliver recipes)
150 gr (5 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, plus 2 T. for greasing the bowl
150 gr (5 1/2 oz) golden caster sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons for sprinkling (in the U.S. use Turbinado sugar or raw cane sugar)
50 gr (1 and 3/4th oz) Green and Black cocoa powder
50 gr (1 and 3/4th oz) of Green and Black or another fine quality 70% dark chocolate, broken up into small chunks
Grated zest of half and orange
3 large eggs
150 gr (5 1/2 oz) self raising flour (in the U.S. use all purpose unbleached flour and add a 1/2 tsp. of baking powder to it)
2 Tablespoons of milk ( I use evaporated milk to provide the rich flavor of cream without the extra calories. You could certainly use semi skimmed milk if you choose). 
50 gr (1 and 3/4th oz) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons of golden syrup (in the U.S. use real maple syrup or corn syrup)
100 ml (3 and 1/2 fluid oz) semi skimmed milk (Again I use evaporate milk for a rich, creamy flavor)
150 gr (5 1/2 oz) of dark chocolate broken into chunks

  • In a bowl beat butter and sugar until pale. Add the chocolate, cocoa and orange zest. Blitz (mix) until really fine. 
  • Add eggs, flour (and baking powder for those in U.S.), milk and a pinch of salt.
  • Mix into a batter, stopping to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
  • Generously grease a 1.3 litre (2 and 1/4th pint) heavy glass bowl with butter.
  • Sprinkle bottom and sides of greased bowl with 2 Tablespoons of sugar.tilting and shaking to evenly cover all sides and the bottom.
  • Spoon in the batter gently.
  • Cover the bowl with foil and pinch it tightly closed all the way around the perimeter of the bowl for a tight seal. 
  • Find a pot big enough for the bowl to sit in. (I used a small heavy glass mixing bowl for my greased and sugared bowl and my soup pot to put it in.)
  • Place the batter filled and foil covered bowl in the larger pan with the foil covered end facing up. Carefully, using a teapot full of boiling water, fill the large, outer pan with water to a point half way up the side of the pudding bowl. 
  • Bring this to a boil, cover with a lid and turn down to a medium simmering boil. Cook for 90 minutes. You may need to add more water to the pan to keep it at a half way point.  
  • About 10 minutes before the pudding is cooked, make your chocolate sauce. 
  • Bring butter, syrup and milk to a simmer in a pan over medium heat. 
  • Turn off the heat, smash up your chocolate, and add it to the pan with a small pinch of salt. 
  • Leave it to melt, stirring now and then with a spatula until you have a lovely sauce. 
  • When the pudding has cooked, turn off the heat. Remove the pudding bowl from the pan carefully (I used large tongs with a rubber grip). 
  • Remove the foil top and turn the pudding out onto a large plate. 
  • Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
  • If you've made the pudding in advance. simply bring it back to a boil and serve it right away. 


Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious and I agree that steamed puds are delicious, but you really should have 1 teasp of baking powder to 4 ozs of all purpose flour to make it = self-rising.


Bryce Lee said...

Obviously nobody is the UK is diabetic or similarly told to lay off the sweets.

However every once in a while...

And your comment about custard is so
very true...

SnowyOwl said...

My Mum used to make puddings like this. Our favourite was Jam sponge or syrup sponge (we called it treacle). Just a plain sponge mix but before putting the batter in the bowl spoon in jam or golden syrup to the bottom of the bowl, then cover and steam as you describe, serve with custard!

The other steamed pudding was made with suet crust pastry to line a bowl and then filled with apple mixture like you would use in a crumble or pie, topped with the pastry, then sealed and steamed.

Love the recipes, and love hearing all about your life aboard. Your blog is always such an interesting and informative read, thanks

Carol Ives said...

Now now, don't try that 2 dessert thing again, we made it plain to you on Friday that anyone who thinks that, is just plain weird, no one has just custard for dessert. I mean, you only have to look at how you have to translate ingredients to your U.S readers. What's that about? Self raising flour has to be translated? No no, you are the weirdo Jaq. Hahahahahahahahaha. Mwah

Carol said...

Hi Jaq,
I learned to make steam puds at school and for ever after that I had to make one every Sunday for the family (all 7 of us) usually jam or treacle (golden syrup) but occasionally with lemon curd. The jam etc was put into the bowl before the sponge mixture and would soak into the pudding as it steamed and would run hot down the pudding when it was turned out. I have to admit I’ve not made one for a long time!
Our best regards to you both and hope that Les is continuing to make good progress. xx

K1 said...

My favorite pudding! I was raised on them and fought with my siblings for the "left overs" for breakfast the following morning.

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Sally,
Thanks for letting me know. I will edit he post per your instructions.
Love Jaq

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Oh Bryce,
I think as nations go, from my personal experience, Americans are addicted to salt, Brits are addicted to sugar--which one is for the Canadians?? So do you use custard over your desserts too??
Love Jaq

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Snowy Owl,
That first pud you described has me salivating. I cut a recipe out of the paper for a Queen of All Puddings which has jam in it. I might give it a go now.

Glad you enjoy our adventures--big and small. Thanks for following along with us.
Stay warm, stay dry!

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Carol dahling,
Americans don't have self raising flour.Sadly we have to make it raise the old fashioned way--add in the activator. But we do have chopped nuts available in the store so we don't have to chop our own AND chocolate chips are larger, packaged in 12 ounce bags instead of dainty little driblets packaged in 2 ounce sachets as over here! So there you go! Mwah!!
Love you much,

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Carol,
Seven of you!! I had no idea you came from a larger family. Wow! IF you give this chocolate pud a try will you let me know what you think?

Les is fine. He just needs to build up his muscles again.
Love to you and George,

Anonymous said...

Hi....must be on the mend...have connected brain to computer. Also have caught up on your blog...which is as ever, interesting to read.'ve moved! No appetite yet to try choc pud but am still enjoying slivers of that fabulous Golden Ginger Cake...yum! Comments please on raw cocoa powder?! xxA

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs