The blog of a doctor, a baker, a wisdom tooth taker!
Sweet, sticky, warming, rib-sticking, comforting nursery food of my childhood day dreams. Yes, I’m talking about steamed pudding. How could I be meaning anything else? As a wee tot my nan would make steamed golden syrup puddings as a rare treat (pudding was not a regular feature in the Baby Blogs Household) and I would sit in one of our burgundy leather armchairs with a bowl (usually my Peter Rabbit one) and spoon in sweet mouthfuls in slowly, to savour every last mouthful. I’m sure I’ve never ate a steamed pud with a single other thought in my head, save the one that I’m sure this is the most perfect form of pudding that has ever graced English homes across the land. However, that was back in my pre-18 years when I was training very hard at ballet training everyday and was going the gym for someone like 10 hours a week – these days, though my love of the pud has not diminished, my ability to burn it off has dulled somewhat! So imagine the tears of joy when I discovered a “healthy” steamed pudding and one which, I promise, tastes every mouthful naughty and unctuous, not one bit virtuous and self righteous! This was that very pud…
This towering, orange bejewelled offering is that very pud and comes to you from a rather contentious book in that it divides opinion to those willing to try anything once and those a bit terrified of what they behold in the ingredients list. I could be talking of none other than Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood. Harry is a hopeless romantic and clearly a bit of a daydreamer (anyone who knows me will realise I consider her somewhat of a kindred spirit of mine!) who adores cake and wanted to find a way to get it into her life in the healthiest way she could imagine. So she reduced the sugar, swapped plain for rice flour and most controversial of all, she swapped butter for …. vegetables. Oh yes she did! And I can’t get enough of her, this book and the wondrous cakes and bakes that come from its fairytale-like illustrated pages. Now I may have written down the wrong veg for this particular pudding so I used grated parsnip rather than turnip (I mustn’t be the only Northerner whom uses these two names synonymously?!) but I truly, madly, deeply promise you do not taste “parsnip”, you taste a moist, unctuous, orange perfumed and muskily cardamom studded pudding fit for angels to guzzle on not-so-much reinforced clouds! Based on the success of this pud (only 220 calories a portion) I created my own version – a stem ginger pud which you can bake or steam, using butternut squash in place of butter! Let’s begin with a rhapsody of orange…
Lemon zest tempers the sweet and is essential in ginger puddings to me. As for the stem ginger – look at that almost glass-like, almost jelly-like consistency with a haunting ochre glow. Big love to the humble ginger root!
I like to add in ground ginger which brings warming spice and heat – you could use a tablespoon if you’re a ginger addict like me. I’ve not stipulated so much in the recipe to follow – perhaps you’d like to add in other spices and that’s more than fine by me
As there is no butter to cream in this recipe, you whisk up the eggs and sugar to make a mousse to which you fold in the remaining ingredients before pouring into your pudding basin which has been buttered, drizzled with the syrup from your stem ginger jar and encrusted with some of the latter finely chopped to help with that sticky “jammy” layer on the top of your pud.
Now here is where I get even more renegade – having bought a rice cooker pot which can go in the oven from my friend’s Jamie At Home party, I decided to make my pud in it for its maiden voyage. It worked a treat so I have included the method in my recipe but also, I’ve included the method for making a steamed version as this undoubtedly makes a moister, lighter version although this baked one is almost indistinguishable from its more traditional counterpart. Here is the proof.
A flaming sunset of a pud, just look at that colour! The butternut has offered up all it’s orangeness long with the baking process concentrating the ginger syrup into this almost day glow dessert. Let’s see inside too…
Moist through and through – both the vegetable quotient and the ground almonds provide the luscious texture you see before you. Honestly, look beyond the apparent “weirdness” of this recipe and just give it a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Harry challenges how we think about the sweet treats in our life and has researched each and every item and made sure it’s as good as can be before publishing her book (which I adore, had you not already noticed that!) and if I can convert just one reader with this post, I’ll be one happy bunny boo. Time for one last shot before you can get your hands on Harry’s orange pud and my ginger one – for what is a steamed pud without a river of custard (Bird’s Custard Powder custard, for full nostalgic effect) surrounding its golden peaks
Fancy a little orange and cardamom pudding? Click here – Steamed Orange and Cardamom Pudding
Fancy a little stem ginger pud in your life? Then click here – Stem Ginger Pudding