Monday, April 26, 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge: British Steamed Pudding

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.

There was just no way I was going to make a pudding using suet.  This is just wrong on so many levels for me that I almost didn’t take this challenge.  I won’t and can’t eat animal fat.  But what is a challenge if it isn’t challenging?  I started thinking “sticky toffee pudding” and I got excited.
I used the recipe provided but I cut it in half.  I only have three of these little ceramic dishes and only three would fit in my steamer pot.  As it turned out, the quantity of batter was exactly what I needed to fill the dishes.  I could have used one large bowl but then I would have had to steam the pudding for 2-3 hours.  In the name of energy conservation, I chose small bowls that I steamed for a little over an hour.
(Don’t forget to oil the bowls!) 

I substituted organic palm shortening for the suet.  It’s a product that I like to use in pie crusts to replace some of the butter substitute.  It makes a crust flakier.  This recipe also called for an egg, milk, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, baking powder and salt.  I used some vegan sour cream to replace the egg and some soy creamer for the milk.  The list of ingredients seemed a little bland so I added a heaping tablespoon of chai concentrate to spice it up.  
I put the batter in my little bowls and covered them with aluminum foil to steam (in a covered pot)

With sticky toffee pudding in mind, I decided to make a caramel sauce to pour over the finished puddings.   This was my second attempt... and failure to make an acceptable vegan caramel sauce according to a basic recipe.  I don’t know if I’m not cooking the sugar long enough or at a high enough temperature, but the sugar never really caramelizes properly and soy creamer (in place of cream) isn’t really working.  Rather than waste the ingredients, I put the sauce in my food processor with some medjool dates and that helped immensely.  If any of you know of a good, vegan caramel recipe, I’d love to know about it.

The puddings popped right out of the molds after they cooled and I covered them with my date caramel sauce and served them with pear slices.  

British Steamed Chai Pudding
Makes 3 servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
50 grams all purpose flour
37 grams raw sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
50 grams breadcrumbs
37 grams palm shortening (Spectrum)
2 tablespoons non dairy sour cream (Tofutti)
1 heaping tablespoon chai concentrate paste (Masala Chai Co.)
4 tablespoons non dairy creamer
caramel sauce
In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, breadcrumbs, baking powder and salt.
In a food processor, mix together the palm shortening, non-dairy sour cream, chai paste and creamer.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir until everything is blended.
Divide the batter between three little well oiled bowls and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Steam for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes before inventing on to a plate.
Pour warm caramel sauce over each pudding and eat immediately.

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