There are few textures lighter than a steamed sponge pudding and I am rather partial to it. As Spring seems to be finally upon us the opportunities for steamed puds are dwindling therefore I had to sneak this one in before it was too late!
This photo shows the light, open texture of a steamed sponge:
What I liked about this recipe was that it uses the rhubarb in two ways: some is steamed with the sponge and the rest is lightly stewed to serve with the pud. It created a rather colourful dish.
The pinkness of forced rhubarb always pleases me – it’s such a strong and happy colour.
I tried to keep the lightly stewed rhubarb a little tarter than I normally would in order that it contrasted with the sweet sponge and custard. It was a really nice combination as the acidity cut through the sweetness.
500g forced rhubarb
Caster sugar, according to taste
For the pudding:
3 tablespoons golden syrup
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
How to make:
- Start by stewing the rhubarb: cut the rhubarb into small chunks and place in a large pan over a low-medium heat.
- Add about 4 tablespoons of sugar and stir. It will take a few minutes for the rhubarb to start collapsing.
- When the rhubarb is soft, but not totally collapsed remove about 5-6 tablespoons of chunks and put to one side.
- Taste the remaining rhubarb and add sugar according to your taste.
- After approximately 10 minutes the rhubarb will be soft and partially collapsed. Remove from the heat and put to one side. I like it with a few chunks left in it.
- Now prepare the pudding: grease a 1.5 litre pudding basin with butter.
- Place the chunks you removed from the stewed rhubarb into the bottom of the basin and cover with the golden syrup.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, vanilla and self raising flour.
- Beat in the milk.
- Spoon the batter into the basin carefully, so as not to dislodge the rhubarb. The basin will not be full as the pudding needs room to rise.
- In your steamer, ensure that you have enough boiling water to come halfway up the basin. I used a steamer basket, so my sponge didn’t sit in the water. Both ways work just as well.
- Cover the top of the basin with a centrally pleated piece of baking paper, and another of foil.
- Secure with string and steam for approximately 1 ½ hours. A little more won’t cause any harm.
- Remove the foil and paper and run a knife around the edge of the pudding before turning out.
- Turn the pudding out onto a lipped plate, in order to ensure that you don’t lose any of the juices.
- In a saucepan gently warm the stewed rhubarb.
- Serve the pudding straight away with hot custard and the stewed rhubarb.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.