Friday, February 15, 2008

Treacle Pudding

Treacle (molasses) is one of my all time favorite cooking ingredients. This is also one of the few honest to god British foods that won't send you reaching for a barf bag.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
A few drops of vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup (a little extra will do no harm).



With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla.
With a spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. Take care not to overmix here.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Butter and flour a 10-inch round Bundt pan.
Pour the syrup into the pan, then spoon in the sponge batter, gently smoothing the top with a spatula.
Bake for about 30 minutes; the sponge should be golden on top.
Remove the pudding from the oven and let it cool for 2-3 minutes. Place a plate on top of the Bundt pan, then quickly but firmly turn the plate and pan upside down to release the cake onto the plate.. You may need to loosen the edges very slightly with a knife before you flip it.
Serve with hot custard.

HOT CUSTARD INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks

Heat cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat, whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the hot liquid 1/4 cup at a time to avoid scrambling.


big brass blog

16 Comments:

Blogger Dusty said...

Damn this sounds divine. Wish I cooked ;p

6:52 PM  
Blogger litbrit said...

Oh my GOD!!!

Treacle pudding is one of the best desserts ever. And you nail it with the Tate and Lyle golden syrup.

My grandmother used to make this by steaming it in a ceramic bowl covered with cheesecloth, suspended over boiling water in a big stockpot (as opposed to in the oven.)

The golden syrup is so important to the flavor of this pudding--it's unlike any other syrup: it's the color of honey and has the the consistency of molasses, but the taste is much softer and sunnier than molasses. Like raw sugar, maybe?

I've always been loathe to fiddle with the whole boiling thing, so I'll have to try this in-the-oven method, which sounds divine! I've even found English foods, including Golden Syrup and real Cadbury bars and Robertson's jams, in the ethnic aisle at the St. Pete Publix (I love that British is categorized as ethnic--who knew?!)

Thank you so much for this.

7:29 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i believe that the taylor and lyle's is classified as a "light" molasses. it is a byproduct of cane sugar production. not as deeply or harshly cooked as a blackstrap. and yes, it is a truly unique flavor. i've done the steamed puddings, but i much prefer the straight baked. it's just a consistency that i like better.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous oddjob said...

Well, there are all those glorious British teas! (Yes, I know the leaves come from India, and elsewhere in the Himalayas, but still, it was the British from whom most of the US got the idea of tea as something to be revered.)

If I'm not mistaken another of their desserts also comes in for commendation. Aren't they the ones who created the fool?

Presumably your "Cumberland" sauce is based upon a British recipe?

Finally, while I have no idea if it's an accurate interpretation or not, when I was in my 20's and still living with my parents (yes I was one of those) I worked in a plant nursery and was both quite fit and also quite lean (not now!) During those autumns and winters every once in a while my mom would make her version of Yorkshire pudding for dinner. The dish was a heavy one, but when you've been doing manual labor in cold weather for eight hours coming home to that for dinner was just divine!!!

10:07 PM  
Anonymous oddjob said...

it is a byproduct of cane sugar production.

I could be wrong, but my understanding is that molasses generally (now anyway) is pretty much always a byproduct of cane sugar production. It's made from the leftover stuff that gets strained out as the sugar is refined. Obviously the brand you've mentioned is lighter than the one used in shoo-fly pie! THAT'S usually good ol' blackstrap!

(My grandmother always poured blackstrap molasses on pancakes. I could never understand that!!! GIVE ME MAPLE SYRUP OR SOME DELICIOUS JELLY OR JAM EVERY TIME!!!!)

10:11 PM  
Anonymous oddjob said...

Oh, and thanks a million for defining "treacle" for me! I only ever knew the term to refer to something unacceptably sweet (ie., "treacly"). I never knew it actually referred to a real thing in cooking.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous oddjob said...

I've always been loathe to fiddle with the whole boiling thing

?

If you have a big enough stock pot to hold the ceramic bowl and the bowl can stand being in boiling water (as a Pyrex or Corel bowl in good condition should) what's the problem? Aren't there quite a few steamed puddings in English cuisine that would more or less be made that way?

(Not asking in criticism. I'm asking so I can understand more than I do. I don't know very much about this sort of cooking.)

10:17 PM  
Anonymous oddjob said...

I love that British is categorized as ethnic--who knew?!

:-)

"Ethnic" = uncommon in the country where you now live.

As far as I'm concerned "pot roast" is British cuisine, no? It's also as American as apple pie (another British dessert, yes?)

"Ethnic" is totally in the eye of the beholder! :-)

(Your sense of irony is wonderfully intact, litbrit! ;-) )

10:25 PM  
Blogger litbrit said...

My main problem with the steamed version is that you have to have the bowl tightly covered with cheesecloth and string, then you rig up a thing with a wooden spoon big enough to reach across the span of the stockpot and from that, you hang the pudding bowl. Or, you can sit it on an inverted pie plate inside the pot, but once the water gets boiling away, it makes a rattling sound that will drive you nuts if you're anything like me.

So the baked version sounds a fair bit more streamlined (and less noisy).

Also, the steamed ones tend to be heavier, damper, and stickier, which is either good or bad, depending on your preference.

I would definitely recommend, as Minstrel does, using more golden syrup.

And the custard--a warm créme Anglaise, really--is very, very important.

My Mum remembers the schools serving treaclepudding at lunch. I remember it, too, but only a few times do I recall that pudding at school, since we left when I was six and I only had two years of school under my belt at that point. In England, people eat (or used to eat) their big, hot meal at mid-day and have lighter fare (tea) after work. Most of the school food was standard cafeteria ickiness but kids always loved the big, gloppy steamed puddings they'd serve.

Remember that line in Pink Floyd's The Wall? How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat? That's what they're referring to--all the little Brits lined up and desperate for pudding but hating the shrivelly bits of roast beef and overcooked cabbage they were forced to eat first!

6:16 AM  
Blogger litbrit said...

oddjob, roast beef is, in general, a pretty English thing, but Americans serve nicer, bigger cuts of meat. I think most of you guys would be shocked at the overall smallness of our food. My late father-in-law was in the Navy during WWII, and he told me about how he and his mates arrived in England and headed out for some lunch only to find that the English notion of a sandwich was this slim, delicate little thing with a single piece of roast beef placed between home-baked bread that had been spread with butter and horseradish. He said they were really puzzled, and being from New York, where deli roast beef sandwiches were several inches thick, he complained. He was told that this was how sandwiches were made here, and weren't you lucky to have all that nice food back home. He said he felt really bad after that and tried to leave a big tip, which of course they didn't accept in England, at least not then. So instead, he went back regularly and got completely addicted to tea made correctly. And scones.

He also said the English women and children were more excited to see chocolate bars and jam and little luxuries like nylon stockings than if you'd brought over a giant treasure chest filled with gold coins.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Maheanuu Tane said...

I never knew that molasses came in different flavors. The only kind I ever saw, thanks to grandma, was the black strap kind. It has a taste that I enjoy. But then again I am sorta, kinda weird...

I plan on going out today and picking up a bottle of the Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup today and mail it to my wife so that she will have it when she gets home next weekend.

I tried to explain molasses to my wife, and then went to T & L's web page and learned about the light stuff, we always have a bottle of the dark kind in the house, and I for one, like to use it on pancakes.

Thanks again for another superb recipie.

9:49 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

my experience with the british was colored darkly by my irish side of the family. i was young, bursting with bad attitude, and usually spoiling for a fight. viet nam was still raging the last time i was in england and, i must say, the british did their level best to be nice to me but i wasn't having any of it. i worked on a gun crew for the HMS Victory on the Queen's Birthday. Like the USS Constitution, the Victory is brought out into the harbor, twice a year to be redocked facing the other way. On the Queen's Bday we fired a full broadside (80 fucking cannon). I was a front loader. later, we all went to "The King's Stairs" which was the pub where nelson himself used to tip a pint and view the harbor of portsmouth. they still have his booth roped off. just like they have the place where he fell on the deck roped off. when we had docked a barrel of rum was produced and all hands were given a generous tot. then they told us that the barrel we had drunk from was the same barrel that had been used to transport nelson's body from trafalger back to england. when the body was removed the crew drank off the rum that he had been pickled in. since then, rum for the british navy has been called "nelson's blood."

i tossed back my ration and and said "great! when do we get sodomy and the lash?"

11:05 AM  
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11:23 PM  
Anonymous looney_eds - Edinburgh said...

".......honest to God British foods that won't have you reaching for the barf bag"

Oh woe to your uneducated palate - Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Lancashire hot pot, Shepherds pie, cottage pie, Cumberland sausage, spotted dick, fish and chips........yes, there are some dishes that are not too great but this was born out of necessity - don't forget, there was still rationing in this country well into the 1950's but since then, British cuisine has come on a long way, we are now a country with one of the highest numbers of Michelin starred restaurants in the world, multi culturism has lent to this also and we have our downsides too, McDonalds, Burger King and KFC almost everywhere.

I've been to the States too over the years and have also served with US military - so before you go knocking our scran, can you please explain to me what exactly is 'creamed mince' - I saw it made with carnation milk etc, now tell me who's got the problem with their taste buds.

Most of the recipes eaten in the US have been imported from the melting pot of cultures that have settled there including quite a few British dishes.

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