Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daring Baker Challenge: Steamed Pudding

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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.

First up, I went all over the place trying to find suet for human use... nada.  Even the vegetarian suet was unavailable - guess that's what happens when you live in a small-ish town! LOL!  So my next thought was, "ok, get some fat from the butcher and render your own so I would have suet."  Everyone sells their fat to places that render the fat.  It was mentioned in the challenge post that we could substitute for the suet.  I didn't want to go boring and use butter or crisco (which is nasty any way) so I purchased some lard.  Its animal and its fat.  Guess that is as close to suet as I'm going to get in this area. 
I've never steamed desserts before.  To be honest, it sounds rather disgusting.  For me its all about the texture when I'm eating.  The idea of steaming, or boiling as some recipes called for, equaled mushy texture.  That was my ignorant view any way.  I found several different ways to steam and went for the one that looked easiest.  I've done breads using steaming in the oven and they come out crusty and golden so hoped for the best in making my pudding.
There are two types we were focusing on; steamed suet pudding, the sponge type, and puddings using a suet crust.  We could experiment with flavors but since today is the last day to post... and time got away from me..I made the basic steamed suet pudding.
100 grams/4 ounces) All-purpose flour
(1/4 teaspoon) salt
(1.5 teaspoons) Baking powder
(100 grams/4 ounces) breadcrumbs
(75 grams/3 ounces) Caster sugar
(75 grams/ 3 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(1) large egg
(6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk

1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl.
2. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and suet.
3. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk
4. Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil.
5. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours
6. Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.
The end result was the most surprising dessert.  It tasted a bit like a graham cracker crumb cake.  I'm planning on trying the pudding with the suet crust next.

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