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Steamed puddings have been around for centuries, and can be made as a sponge mixture or with suet.  The cooking is done on top of the stove slowly and gently which makes for a lighter sponge result.  Although they were originally cooked in an animal’s intestine, things have moved on and exceptionally good results can be achieved by steaming the mixture in a pudding basin with a lid.

The basic ingredients for the golden syrup steamed sponge pudding are;  eggs, butter, sugar and flour.  Exactly the same as in a Victoria Sponge.   The only difference is the result.  The slow gentle steam cooking produces the most beautiful, light, moist, airy and delicate sponge.  The added golden syrup gives a luxurious golden crown of a deep sweet flavour.

Unlike the oven which cooks the Victorian Sponge mixture at 190C the sponge pudding is cooked at 100C, this allows all the moisture to be kept in.  I admit to waxing a little lyrical about this pudding but it deserves favour, it really does.  It doesn’t feature at the dinner table that often these days and yet it is a simple and comforting pudding.

The simplicity of this recipe is in the ingredients and the formula – I love recipes with formulae.

Weigh two eggs with shell on and whatever the weight – measure equal weights of flour, sugar and butter and that is the recipe.  The only other ingredients are the crowing glory or the golden syrup and a little milk which is added to the sponge mixture to loosen it to a dropping consistency.  The mixture is put into a buttered pudding basin with the syrup and steamed for 1 1/2 hours.  It can be served with either cream or custard.

Steamed pudding may have been around for centuries but the golden syrup pudding has only been around since 1881.  The recipe was originated by Abram Lyle to promote his ‘goldie’ sales and proved to be incredibly popular in Victorian times.

Abram Lyle was a canny Scotsman who realised that to really succeed he needed to open a sugar refinery in London.  So he sent his sons down to set up a refinery in Plaistow by the river Thames.  Refining cane sugar produced a waste of liquid sucrose but Lyle discovered that instead of throwing it away he could make it into a golden syrup which was known as  ‘goldie’. Later it was to be named Golden Syrup.  Today the factory still remains in Plaistow and produces 20 thousand tons of golden syrup a year.

What makes this syrup even more special is that not only does it have the Royal warrant but the original packaging that Abram Lyle himself designed has not changed, making it the world’s oldest brand packaging.  The only time the packaging changed was during World War 1 when metal was scarce and strong cardboard had to be used.  A product that even with the strange brand label of a dead lion with a swarm of bees has stood the test of time.

Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding

Ingredients

2 eggs

Weight of the 2 eggs in their shell of:

Butter

Caster Sugar

Self raising flour

a little milk (approx couple of tablespoons)

3-6 tbs Lyle’s Golden Syrup

Butter to grease the pudding basin.

Method

Use a little knob of butter to grease the inside of the pudding basin this will help the pudding to turn out easily once cooked.

Depending on your taste drop into the bottom of the pudding basin between 3-6 tablespoons of golden syrup.  (I use 6)

In a bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg whole with 1 tablespoon of the flour and beat until combined.  Repeat with the second egg.  Fold in the flour until combined.  Add a little milk and stir in.  The mixture needs to be of a dropping consistency.

Drop the mixture on top of the golden syrup leveling out before placing the lid on. It should come to about half way up the basin.

In a pan place an upturned saucer or a trivet and place the pudding basin on top.  (It must not sit on the bottom of the pan)

Fill the pan with water to at least half way up the side of the pudding basin.  Bring to a gentle boil and then turn down to a simmer and place a pan lid on for 1 1/2 hours.  After this time the sponge should be cooked.  Gently remove and with a knife loosen the pudding from the side of the basin.  Place a plate on top and turn over.  The pudding should come out as one.

Serve immediately with lashings of custard or cream.

Will serve 6 but for a more generous helping it serves 4.  I tend to make it for 2 and the remains are heated up in the microwave the following day.

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