Wednesday, April 28, 2010
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. Suet is beef fat, so I was pretty grossed out when I first read this challenge. There was no way I was going to bake using raw beef fat. I'm sure it provides great flavour, but I really didn't want to go to the hassle of trying to locate suet at the grocery store or go to the butcher to request a hunk of fat. Plus, I'm sure it's not a healthy option. Since I had decided to not use suet, I had to set out to find a traditional pudding recipe that was beef fat free!
For the purposes of this challenge, pudding refers to a dessert that is cooked in a pudding mold (or in my case a glass bowl) using steam. I have never baked a dessert using steam before, so I was pretty nervous about it not turning out. I chose a pudding recipe that is dairy free as well as chocolaty! I used a recipe from a website called The Pudding Club. I guess puddings are pretty popular, since there were many pudding websites/recipes to choose from.
I chose a recipe called Very Chocolate Pudding and it was very easy to make. I had to weigh all of the ingredients, since the site is British and that's how they roll. I followed the recipe exactly, except for the fact that I didn't have self raising flour. I used the same amount of all purpose flour and added 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder to help my pudding rise. I mixed up the batter and poured it into my medium Pyrex glass bowl. The batter was pretty yummy, so I had high hopes for the finished product.
Since this was my first pudding, I didn't have a dedicated steamer. I had to McGuyver my own. I used my giant stock pot with three custard cups at the bottom to keep my bowl elevated from the bottom of the pot. I filled the pot with water so that it came halfway up the pudding bowl. I covered the bowl tightly with aluminum foil and wrapped it with string to make a handle so I could easily lift the bowl out of the pot. Once the water came to a full boil, I lowered the bowl in and hoped for the best! It was a long hour and a half wait to see if my first pudding would be a flop or a success.
I lifted the bowl out of the water and ripped off the aluminum foil and was pleased to see a dense chocolate cake that had risen quite a bit! I flipped the pudding out of the bowl and let it cool as we finished supper. To complete the pudding I decided to make a chocolate sauce, since you can never have enough chocolate! I used a recipe from all recipes that is simply called Chocolate Sauce. The sauce is dairy free and is almost fat free, which is a nice bonus. You can also use it for ice cream, hot chocolate and chocolate milk! It makes quite a bit, so I placed the rest in a jar and it now sits in my fridge waiting to jazz up some other desserts. I did make a small modification to the recipe. I used 1 cup of sugar instead of 1 2/3 cups and 1 cup of water instead of 1 1/4 cups. I like chocolate sauces and things like that to be a little less sweet, and this did the trick.
Overall my first British pudding was a success. I really thought that when I lifted the bowl out of my homemade steamer that I would find a sloppy chocolate mess, but it actually turned out nicely. It was really yummy and not that hard to make. The only downside was that it had to steam for an hour and a half and it probably wouldn't be that fun to do during the summer time. I probably wouldn't make a pudding this way again, but it was fun to try!