Here they are fresh from the oven; they are standing on kitchen paper to dry off from their water bath:
The sponge is light as it’s baked in the oven but sitting in a water bath so you get the benefit of steaming without having to faff around with a steamer on the hob.
Butterscotch sauce, ready for action:
It’s hard to imagine who - dietary limitations and allergies aside - wouldn’t want to eat one of these little puddings. What’s not to like?
To make them prettier and not look wonky I would level the sponge top once cooked as this will become the base on turning out. However, if you do this people will complain that they have been deprived of their crunchy bit. So it’s your call – pretty puddings or happy eaters? I went for happy eaters.
I made the puddings the day before and then reheated them the next day. They were tricky to turn out of the basins so make sure you grease the basins well (I’ve since acquired non-stick little basins, from Tesco of all places, so this shouldn’t happen again):
For the puddings:
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g vanilla sugar (supermarkets stock this, if you can’t find it just use caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk (semi skimmed or whole)
For the butterscotch caramel sauce:
300g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
142ml double cream
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Grease six 150ml pudding basins.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until they are pale and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage – give the mixture a good beating.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, don’t worry if the mix starts to curdle slightly.
- Beat in the vanilla extract – remember to use extra if you have used caster sugar rather than vanilla sugar.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder, then fold in the milk.
- Spoon the batter into the pudding basins ensuring that each one is two-thirds full.
- Stand the basins in a large, deep roasting dish and pour boiling water into the dish until it comes half way up the sides of the basins.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took a while longer – around the 40 minute mark.
- Make the butterscotch caramel sauce by putting the sugar in a large saucepan along with 2 tablespoons of water. Melt the sugar over a high heat and shake the pan occasionally. The sugar will melt and become a darker brown colour.
- Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the butter – be careful as the mixture might bubble up and spit at you. Stir in the cream and return to the heat.
- Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
- If you are serving straight away, tip the puddings out of the basins into a dish and pour the butterscotch sauce over the top, with some ice cream on the side.
- The puddings can be made one day in advance and kept in an airtight container, still in the basins. Reheat the puddings covered in foil for 10-15 minutes at 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- The sauce can be made up to three days in advance if kept in the fridge. Simply reheat in the microwave when required, or in a saucepan on the hob.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.