English Pudding

As if I wasn’t doing enough, I have this whole Daring Bakers’ thing to keep doing…

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 was a bit concerned about this challenge as it called for suet – the stuff most people think of as what you put out for the wild birds. But then, thankfully, we were allowed to use butter. And I promptly forgot about the challenge for most of the month, until exactly two days before we needed to have it done.

Thankfully, English pudding (at least the sweet sponge variety) is incredibly easy to make, although with the steaming it does take a bit of planning.

Pear Chocolate Pudding

Pear Chocolate Pudding

adapted from The Pudding Club

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs, beaten
3 or 4 pear halves
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and cocoa together. Alternate adding the flour mixture and egg into the sugar, beating well to fully incorporate after each addition. Grease a 1 liter bowl (I used a small Pyrex), and place the pears, flat side down, in the bottom of the bowl. Pour the batter in on top and smooth. Cover the bowl with waxed paper, then aluminum foil. Steam in a large stockpot for approximately 90 minutes. The top of the pudding should look like a firm cake. Let cool slightly in bowl to ensure a set, then turn out onto a plate. Spoon on chocolate sauce, and serve.

I will definitely keep this recipe on hand. It looks fancy, but came together so quickly. And who doesn’t love that?

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my April Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 and enter to win a jar of strawberry vanilla jam!

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19 Responses to English Pudding

  1. Sasa April 27, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    Pear and chocolate, perfect combination – glad I came across your blog, it’s lovely.

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  2. Audax Artifex April 27, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    WOW that is one beautiful looking pudding well done and the flavour combination pear/chocolate sounds perfect. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  3. Gala April 27, 2010 at 3:54 am #

    What a beautiful pudding, well done it’s gorgeous!

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  4. ap269 April 27, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Wow, what a beautiful looking pudding! And the combination of pear and chocolate is a winner!

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  5. Renata April 27, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    excellent idea! Pears and chocolate… divine!

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  6. wic April 27, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    what a stunning looking pudding. love your answer to this months challenge.

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  7. Jeanne April 27, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Gorgeous pudding! And I love the addition of pears, I’m sure it’s delicious!

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  8. Kendra H April 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Wonderful combination! Yet another to add to my list :) Wonder if it would taste any good if I added just a pinch of nutmeg…hmmm…

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  9. Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup! April 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Oh my, pears and chocolate, another fabulous flavor combination! The presentation is beautiful, with the pear halves. Lovely, darling!

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  10. outoftheoven April 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Your pudding looks beautiful! I love the combination of pears and chocolate!

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  11. kate the bake April 28, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    Lovely photos and great flavour combinations too.

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  12. Kim April 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Your pudding looks beautiful and the recipe looks so simple! That is great! Nice job on the challenge.

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  13. Aparna April 30, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    Your pudding looks so lovely, especially with more chocolate drizzled on it. Who can say British puddings are uninspiring!

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  14. Zahra April 30, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    wow that looks amazing! I think Im going to make this now! I’ve never steamed a cake before!

    How long does it take to steam? How can you do it exactly? do you place it in the pot? or does it float on top? etc…could you give some more direction on that?:D

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    Megan Reply:

    You steam it for about an hour and a half. I used a large stockpot that has a steamer insert, but you could construct a platform with just foil balls or something, to have the bowl rest on. The cake is taller rather than wide (and you don’t use a regular cake pan) but I think the cake serves 6-8.

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  15. Zahra April 30, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    also…how much does this make? like 8 inch cake? 4 2inch ones?

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  16. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 1, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Oh I love what you did Megan – I need to make a steamed pudding myself soon – I did mine with my petits chefs cooking club and they were not nearly as elegant, obviously, but the joy and pride in their eyes was priceless!

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  17. Maria B April 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    I know I am approximately one year late in asking this, but how do you think it would change the steaming time if I used little ramekins instead of a bigger Pyrex? Do you reckon it would work? I have a barbecue picnic coming up and this looks just perfect. :) Thanks for your help

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