Tag Archives: pudding

Aromatic Shropshire Pudding

Aromatic Shropshire Pudding

Duerrs sent me a sample of their jam specifically made for home bakers. Made to be easily spreadable and stable when cooked their rhubarb and custard jam brings back memories of the sweets from childhood. I have been racking my brain as to the best way to use the jam. Last week I spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen trying out new recipes for my bread baking courses and whilst I was making cardamom scented buns I thought about using the jam as a filling for a ginger flavoured bun. Rhubarb and ginger are one of my favourite flavour pairings.  They were very tasty but because I made them in a whirl shape a lot of the jam escaped during baking, so I am back to the drawing board with that one. I think if I make a bun that is more like a doughnut with the jam enclosed that will work better. More experimentation will take place later this week.

On Sunday I was making dinner for Mothering Sunday and so was thinking of a dessert that would make use of the jam. I was tempted by roly poly and Manchester Tart but as I was looking through the index of Dorothy Hartley’s Food in England I noticed her recipe for Aromatic Shropshire Pudding with Brandy. I am not sure how I have missed this recipe before, being a Shropshire Lass through and through. My version is based loosely on Dorothy’s recipe, her version has no jam in it, but as it is a steamed pudding and I seem incapable of following other people’s recipes I thought why not? I didn’t have any brandy either so I swapped that for some dessert wine that I have sitting on the top of the cupboard. I swapped suet for butter too. Dorothy suggests serving it with brandy butter because in her words “(T)his is brown and aromatic, and, served with this butter and sugar, makes a good pudding for a frosty day”, I made proper custard. I did say it was loosely based on Dorothy’s recipe.

This recipe is a good way of using up stale bread and is very much like a sponge steamed pudding. I had some cold today with fridge cold cream and it was just as delicious in a different way.

225g breadcrumbs
100g butter
60g light brown sugar
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 generous teaspoon brandy, dessert wine or liqueur of your choice
2 eggs, beaten with 1-2 tbsp of water
150g jam

Method

I made this in a food processor  by putting the breadcrumbs and butter into the processor and whizzing it, then adding the sugar, nutmeg, brandy/dessert wine and the beaten egg mixture and whizzing briefly again.

You can make it without a food processor by grating the cold butter into fine breadcrumbs and then adding the rest of the ingredients and using your hands to bring it all together.  The mixture should be quite moist.

Butter an ovenproof bowl that has a 1-pint (500ml) capacity and spoon the jam into the bottom of the bowl. Place the mixture on top of the jam. Cut a large square of greaseproof paper and fold a pleat in the middle of it. Tie securely with string, preferably making a handle with the string. Place a trivet in the bottom of a large saucepan. Put the pudding in and carefully pour hot water in to cover the bowl by three-quarters. Cover the pan tightly with a lid and bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer and simmer for three hours.

Lift the bowl carefully out of the water. Remove the paper. Invert a serving plate onto the top of the bowl and turn the pudding out. Be careful as sometimes it can  pop out and splash hot jam at you. Serve with cream, custard or brandy butter.

Aromatic Shropshire Pudding before cooking

Aromatic Shropshire Pudding before cooking

Duerrs sent me a free sample of their jam to try. All opinions are my own and honest. 

Almond trifle

I actually made this trifle a few weeks ago, with the leftover cake from that first almond cake I made.  That particular cake was OK, but a bit dry and after a couple of days wasn’t particularly tempting.  The second one I made and posted about here was so delicious that I scoffed it all and so it didn’t make its way into a trifle.

Stale cake makes a great base for a trifle and so it was that I made this for a Sunday dessert. There was a little under half a cake left to use. I sliced it and spread it with strawberry jam and soaked it with Amaretto. Then made a custard and covered it with lashings of softly whipped cream and toasted almonds.  It was a very comforting end to dinner but I was asked where the jelly was.  Oh well, you can’t please all of the people all of the time… If you want a trifle that has a jelly layer I have posted one before here.

Leftover almond cake (or you could use sponge, pound or madeira cake)
4-5 tbsp strawberry jam
50ml  Amaretto (or you could use sherry)
For the custard layer:
300ml double cream
3 egg yolks
25g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
For the top layer:
300ml double cream
25g almonds

Method

Slice the almond cake and spread with the strawberry jam.  Lay in the bottom of a trifle bowl.  Sprinkle the amaretto all over the sponge.

To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks, the sugar and cornflour (cornstarch) together in a bowl.  Heat the cream until almost boiling.  Pour the hot cream slowly over the egg yolks, whisking all the time.  Return the mixture to the pan and place onto a gentle heat.  Stir all the time until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Take off the heat and keep stirring until it cools a little.  Leave to cool and then pour over the cake slices.  Cover with clingfilm so that it is on top of the custard to prevent a skin forming and place in the fridge.

About an hour before serving softly whip the cream and spoon onto the custard. Toast the almonds in a dry pan over a medium heat (keep your eye on them as they can burn quickly) and then sprinkle over the cream.

Cherry Cheesecake

Staying with the cherry theme…

I can’t really take the credit for this as Mr OC made it.  I did however hover nervously, not quite in the background, interjecting occasionally.  I am the back seat driver of the kitchen it seems.   I did make the cherry sauce for the top though, as I needed to have some contribution to the proceedings ( a control freak – moi?).

250g digestive biscuits
150g soft butter

400g cream cheese (room temperature)
60g icing sugar
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon juice

For the topping:

1 can of cherries in fruit syrup
2 tsp arrowroot, dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
Glug of cherry brandy (optional and to taste)

Method

Put the biscuits in a food processor and whiz until crumbs.  Add the soft butter and whiz again until combined. (If you don’t have a food processor then place the biscuits in a freezer or sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin until crumbs.  Melt the butter and pour in the biscuits and stir to combine.)  Press the crumbs into a loose based springform tin measuring 20cm.   Using the back of a metal spoon is the easiest way of doing this.  Place in the fridge whilst you prepare the cheese part.

Place the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a bowl and beat until smooth.  Softly whip the double cream and then lightly fold it into the cream cheese mixture.  Spoon this onto the biscuit base and smooth with a palette knife.  Chill in the fridge until just before serving.

Make the sauce ready to pour on top just before serving.  Empty the cherries and the syrup they are in into a saucepan.  Add the arrowroot and water solution and stir well.  Place on a gentle heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened.  Add a glug of cherry brandy to taste.  Pour into a bowl and chill until you are ready to pour over the cheesecake before serving.

When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and release the springform tin.  Keep the cheesecake on the base of the tin and place on a serving plate.  Spoon the cherries and as much of the sauce as the cheesecake will take over the top.

Chocolate roulade, with a touch of the Black Forest

This was another of my contributions to my Dad’s birthday pudding bonanza.  It’s a flourless creation, which means that my gluten-intolerant sister can enjoy it.  I really like Black Forest gâteau, and anything with cherries and cherry brandy in it is always a big hit with me.  So I opted to add these, but you could add Marron Glaces for a chestnutty treat or just opt for the simpler (but nearly as delicious) chocolate and cream combo.

When I rolled it, I had as usual added far too much filling and it all oozed out.  But, actually I like it this way, it makes it look a lot more decadent and that can never be a bad thing, surely?

For the roulade (recipe from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course):

6 eggs, separated
150g (5oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) cocoa powder

A swiss roll tin (a shallow sided tray) measuring 29cm x 18cm, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Whisk the egg yolks until they begin to thicken, then add the sugar and whisk again until the mixture thickens a little more, but you don’t want it to be too thick.  Add the cocoa powder and mix until combined.  In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they make soft peaks.  Add one-third of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture to loosen the mixture and then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites, retaining as much air as possible. Carefully pour this mixture into the tin and lift the tin to spread the mixture evenly.

Place in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or on the middle shelf of the Aga’s Baking Oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the cake is springy to touch. Leave it in the cake tin to cool.

Make the chocolate ganache:

225g (8oz) good quality dark chocolate
225ml double cream
Cherry Brandy (to taste, I tend to put a good swig in, I know that isn’t very scientific, but keep on tasting until it suits you)

Chop the chocolate finely and place in a shallow and long dish. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just under boiling point. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to melt for a few moments.  Stir gently until well combined and then add the cherry brandy to taste.

Softly whip 200ml of double cream and drain a can of cherries.

Place a fresh piece of baking parchment on the worktop, it should be a little bigger than the cake.  Dust this with cocoa powder and turn the cake onto it.  Peel off the baking parchment from the bottom of the cake.  Spread the chocolate ganache over and then dot with the cherries.

Spread the softly whipped cream on top and then taking hold of one the shorter edges of baking parchment use this to roll the cake over to make a log.  If the filling oozes out, don’t worry just use a knife to spread it back onto the ends of the roulade.  If the cake cracks then that’s a bonus part of its appeal.

Enjoy in thick slices.

Stewed damsons

stewed damsons

I think one of the best things to do with damsons is to keep it simple and stew them with sugar. I tend to cook them straight from frozen, they just need a little bit longer in the oven.  It’s hard to beat them when they are served with custard.  My girls love to mix the damson juice with the custard to make a vivid pink pudding.  We each save all the damson stones and then see who we are going to marry by counting them saying “Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief’ and then we count them again to see how we are going to travel to church on the wedding day “coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, muck cart”. It’s daft but it has to be done.

It’s hard to give precise measurements here because it will depend on how tart or sweet you like your damsons.  I like mine to taste tart and then be sweetened by the custard.

Serves 4

300g (10oz) frozen damsons
5 dessertspoons demerara sugar

Put the damsons and sugar into an ovenproof bowl and bake at 180°c for 20 minutes until the damsons are soft and have begun to burst out of their skins.

Serve warm with plenty of warm custard.

damsons and custard