Where do I begin? Of course I want to tell you all about this delectable dessert, but I also want to make sure you know about The Great British Bake Off (The Great British Baking Show), so you don’t miss it, especially all of you Downton Abbey and Mrs. Patmore fans!
When I was at the BBC Good Food Show in Scotland in October, I was very fortunate to meet not only Mary Berry, but also Paul Hollywood (yes, that’s really his name), the co-host of the Great British Bakeoff, which is literally the most popular show that’s been on BBC! Someone who watches the show in the UK asked me, “Are his eyes really that blue?” and the answer was, “Yes! They really are.”
Living so close to the Hollywood sign, I couldn’t resist the urge to take Paul’s book, and the Treacle Sponge Pudding which I made from his book and pose for a photo in front of the sign. Unfortunately, there were what seemed like millions of tourists trying to get near the sign, so by the time I got there, the sun was setting. However, I knew where to go to get a great shot, very close to the sign, that none of the tourists knew about–I must admit I felt rather smug!
I want to tell you that you simply must tune in to PBS on December 28th (tomorrow) to see the first episode of The Great British Bake Off, which will be called The Great British Baking Show, here in the US. If you like cooking shows, you’re going to love this one! I watched an episode when I was in Scotland, and understood what the craze was all about. Not only that, if you’re a Downton Abbey fan (and if you’re not, you should be) you’ll already be in front of the telly when it comes on as The Great British Baking Show is set to air right before DA, after the premiere tomorrow.
Now, let’s get to Paul’s Treacle Sponge Pudding! It’s very similar to one of my favorite desserts, Sticky Toffee Pudding, however it’s steamed, not baked. Steaming is not nearly as popular in the US as it is in the UK, but once you have a pudding basin (bowl), it’s so easy!
This recipe is from Paul’s latest book, Paul Hollywood’s British Baking, which I am in love with at the moment! Do you ever look at a cookbook and want to make EVERY SINGLE RECIPE? Well, that’s how I am with Paul’s latest book. Every recipe is fantastic and it’s filled with gorgeous photos! I was a lucky girl and Paul actually gave me a signed copy!
Paul Hollywood’s Treacle Sponge Pudding
slightly adapted from Paul Hollywood’s British Baking cookbook
7 tbsp (115g) golden syrup (found in British specialty shops and Amazon) – you can substitute maple syrup or honey but the flavor will be different
1 tbsp molasses (black treacle)
3.5 oz (almost a stick) (100g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (100g) sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp (110g) all purpose flour (if using self raising flour, only use 1 tsp baking powder)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 liter pudding basin (bowl) -like Mason Cash
Butter the pudding basin and put 3 tbsp of the golden syrup (or maple syrup/honey) in the bottom of the bowl.
Put the rest of the syrup, treacle, butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and beat slowly, then increase the speed and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula at least once. Pour the batter into the pudding basin, on top of the syrup.
Tear a piece of parchment paper and aluminum foil, large enough to cover the top of the bowl, and go halfway down the sides, and place the foil on top of the parchment. Create a pleat down the center, so that the sponge will have space to expand when cooking.
Place the paper and foil over the pudding basin, then tie some string under the lip of the bowl, leaving extra string to tie over the top to form a handle, tying it on the opposite end. It seems complicated, but really isn’t.
If you don’t have a steamer (I don’t), then just place a rack, or even some crumpled aluminum foil on the bottom of a large pot and put enough water to come half way up the bowl. Place the bowl in the pot and cover tightly with a lid to steam for 1 1/4 hours (checking to add more water if needed).
Once the pudding is ready, carefully remove it from the pot/steamer, cut the string then run a long knife along the side of the bowl to loosen the pudding. Place a plate on top of the bowl and carefully invert the pudding onto the plate and remove the bowl. Serve with custard or heavy (double) cream (in the US, heavy whipping cream needs to be slightly whipped).
Here is more info on The Great British Baking Show, I hope you’ll be watching along with me!
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