Okay, Bermuda may be a British Dependant Territory…but baking British food is not my flavor.
The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
I first looked at this challenge and thought “Heck no!” I was not buying “suet” no way no how and not making pudding. Then I thought of the Christmas Pudding my granny makes and thought it may not be that bad. I read the challenge…over and over. It was easy… Esther allowed variations…the most important variation was using Crisco or butter rather then suet. Whew.
So, I got cocky. Oh yeah, I can do this…easy. Just like dough. Needless to say, I am not that great with dough. I mean, how many recipes you see on this blog with dough? Two…maybe? My hands are too warm for mixing that butter with flour. My hands are perfectly warm for fondant :)
So, I tackle it…choosing to do a savory vegetarian pudding for hubby. Poor Hubby. My first issue was of course, the dough. It was so fragile. I couldn’t roll it in one piece and even if I managed to do so, transferring to the greased Pyrex dish was a nightmare. Like a puzzle, I ended up slopping my dough in sections in my dish. UGH!! I shook it off. Time for my filling to go in. My filling was a sautéed spicy chickpea with tomatoes and potatoes. It looked a bit too watery…but I thought the more juice the better. I then pieced section by section dough to cover the filling…like a pie. I felt positive. Then, 2 hours later the positivity flew out the window. Much like how I felt when I saw my so called traditional pudding.
This is the only picture your going to get. After daringly trying to turn this out on a platter I decided that it was only good for my eyes only. The dough was gummy and partially cooked. Just like the hard potatoes in the filling. The filling spilled out because the dough which was supposed to be a great crust couldn’t support the weight due to it being under cooked. What a disaster. I threw the filling in a frying pan and sautéed till potatoes were cooked and served to Hubby with some rice. Poor Hubby.
2 weeks flew by before I decided to tackle the pudding recipe again. This time I figure I will do a sponge cake like pudding! Ah ha! Cake and me are friends..so this should be a no brainer.
Again, super easy recipe I found on the Pudding Club website. Can you imagine…a whole website for pudding lovers! Seriously take a look because some of them look delish! I chose Jam and Coconut pudding. Please make a note… “desiccated” coconut is not a fancy smancy way that the British call grated coconut. I learned this the hard way. Also, someone needs to explain to me why 120g of caster sugar is not the same as 1 cup of granulated sugar. No explanation is really needed…I just need to know why my brain blanked out and did this. Caster sugar is soooo different from granulated sugar…just as desiccated coconut is to grated coconut. These ingredients needed to be a finer texture.
I did enjoy putting this pudding recipe together. Creaming butter and sugar and sifting dry ingredients. Whoa, I am a pro at that. I even proudly used my homemade strawberry jam that I cooked the night before. So good.
Unlike the chickpea disaster which went in a casserole dish filled with water in the oven, I put this one in the Crockpot. When I heard the occasional burp from the crock I felt like I finally had it.
2 hours passed, I checked it and all was good. I let it sit for 10 minutes before turning out on plate as I read that somewhere. Then, IT happened. IT is THIS…
It kind of fell. Yeah, like splooshed in the middle.. What the heck did I do wrong?? Perhaps the incorrect sugar type? I think so.
However, see the spoon? That spoon tried very hard to let go. Seriously. This pudding was so good… I had to pry the spoon away from it, then pry the spoon away from my mouth. It was difficult to stop nibbling at this pudding.
Kudos to you Esther, for choosing a technique that I, like many have never tried before. You have converted some folks. I haven’t decided if I am a convert yet…I may tackle this again. The taste is well worth another shot!
For those of you that want to know more about steamed puddings and suet, check out Esther’s blog at The Lilac Kitchen. If you go to the end of her post she has a great write up on the different methods. Feel free to try it and get back to me… As I said, I may try again. If I fail then British pudding is just not my cup of tea. :)