Wednesday, 11 January 2012
More from the pudding club - berry sponge puddings
I must admit to really adoring sponge puddings and I think it is something within my English DNA that means that I find it hard to resist the sponge, the fruit and the custard, or cream, or ice cream; whichever is your chosen creaminess.
This pudding was inspired by 'Very Berry Puds' from Jill Dupleix's marvellous cookery book 'Lighten Up'. It satisfies my needs for a sponge pudding, but also is a way of using up the glut of fruits that I have in my freezer. I am extremely unfortunate to receive lots of fruit during the Summer and Autumn, from sour redcurrants to sweet Victoria plums and indeed I tend to buy fruit when in season and at a good price and freeze it so I am able to have a taste of Summer in the depths of Winter. On this occasion I used blackberries but any 'berry' fruit would work fine I would think. Because I used blackberries that were frozen I decided to give them a little oomph with a sprinkling of sugar and a splosh of blackberry liqueur (one of my stash from France; I can't resist a liqueur purchase whenever I visit) but this is by no means necessary; a sprinkling of sugar or a different alcohol (port or sherry?) would work just as well.
I used dariole moulds here, which are like little pudding moulds for the uninitiated, but you could use ramekins or any other suitable ovenproof pot. I imagine with a little vigilance when in the oven, and a bit of patience you could make one big pudding in a pudding bowl, though it will take longer to cook.
Berry Sponge Puddings, adopted from 'Very Berry Puds' from 'Lighten Up' by Jill Dupleix.
Serves 4 - 6, depending on mould size and appetite. For us, it fed mum, dad, Lola and Finn twice.
125g softened butter, plus extra for greasing the pots.
125g caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g berries (I used blackberries)
plus, liqueur for marinating the berries (optional) and sugar (to taste - depending on the sourness of your berries and your own palate)
Preheat the oven to 180c and Gas 4
Butter the moulds well and add sugar to the berries and a splosh of liqueur if you like and allow to marinate for a few minutes or so.
Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs well, one at a time. If the mixture starts to look split, add a spoonful of the flour to bring it back.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder and then add to the mix in thirds, alternating with the milk. Then add the vanilla.
Beat until the mixture is smooth. No longer.
Put a layer of berries in the bottom of the moulds.
Top with the sponge mixture, only filling the moulds about three quarters full. The mixture will rise.
Stand the moulds in a baking tray and surround with boiling water so that it comes about two thirds of the way up the sides of the moulds.
Bake for about 35 - 40 mins or until browned and springy to the the touch.
To turn out, run a knife around the sides of the mould and then invert into a suitable bowl or rimmed plate.
Heat the remaining berries in a pan with some sugar, to taste, and a splosh of alcohol or water. You are looking to create something a little saucy.
When you are happy with the look and the taste of the sauce, spoon it over the puddings.
If you wish to gild the lily, add cream, ice cream, custard...