I admit to letting loose a little squee of joy when I saw what the April Daring Bakers challenge was. I logged in to find out the recipe right after I got back from my trip to London and wouldn’t you know it…the challenge was English Steamed Puddings!

I had a delicious steamed syrup pudding my first night in town at a pub in Covent Garden and picked up some individual pudding molds while I was in England so I could experiment at home. The April challenge was perfect for me!

The challenge was to make either a crust or sponge style steamed pudding and I decided to try both. The original plan had been to make a savory crust pudding and a sweet sponge pudding but when the time came I ended up with 2 sweet ones.

First up I tried the Sussex Pond Steamed Pudding. The original recipe calls for making 1 large pudding, lined with suet crust and filled with a whole lemon (yes you just toss in a whole lemon), butter and sugar. It’s sealed up with more crust, steamed and when cut into you have a buttery sweet lemon sauce inside. Not heart healthy at all.

I had visions of a huge buttery sugar mess if I tried the large size so I opted to make individual puddings using this recipe from Delia Online.

It’s a lot of butter in each one of those molds. 2Tbs worth in fact. (told you it wasn’t healthy).

After steaming for several hours my Sussex Pond puddings were ready.

Looks fine. Tastes….um…ok.

I liked the flavors just fine but the steamed crust was odd. It was cooked yet texturally was so different from pie crust. Firm yet not dry, slightly chewy in rfact. I admit to eating a whole one but wasn’t loving the texture despite the flavor being nice.

I then opted to wait a week before trying a sponge style pudding. This time a Steamed Treacle Pudding (also from Delia Online).

Sponge puddings are what I typically think of when I think of steamed puddings, could be that is because it’s what I have been exposed to but also I think it’s because it’s so much easier to make. The crust was tricky to put into a mold without tearing but the sponge was just like any other cake batter. I love that the sponge pudding only requires very soft butter and you toss everything in the mixing bowl together, no extended creaming of the butter and sugar. Talk about easy!

The treacle pudding had a few Tbs of golden syrup in the bottom of the mold and the brown sugar/treacle batter was spooned on top. I steamed mine for about 90 minutes (my large mold is more of a bundt shape for faster cooking). For those without golden syrup or treacle in the cupboard (both are staples in my house) you can omit the golden syrup and sub in molasses for the treacle. I also tend to mix light and brown sugar in my house so the finished pudding had a very toffee like flavor that would be more subtle if you only used light brown sugar.

Delicious with a little custard poured on top.

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