I wanted to learn a few new things to bake so I decided to join Daring Bakers. For those that don’t know what it is let me give you a little history on it. In November 2006, Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice decided to challenge themselves to bake pretzels for the very first time using the same recipe. They each went ahead and posted about it on November 18, 2006.
Having enjoyed that experience tremendously, they decided to try it again the next month, this time choosing to bake biscotti. And to make matters even better, they were joined by a few more food bloggers. This is how Daring Bakers started. Each month a person posts a baking challenge and we all have to try it out and blog about it. Doesn’t that sound fun? So here is my first Daring Bakers challenge.
The 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.
So what is suet?
It is the hard but flaky fat found on the inside of a cow or sheep around the kidneys and that area of the body. Suet in its raw form crumbles easily into small chunks so much so that my butcher says it covers his floor in bits if he doesn’t have it taken out as soon as possible. In fact unless he knows he has a customer for it he has the abattoir take it out and throw it away and when I want some he gives it to me for free! It also melts at quite a low temperature, which has an effect on how it works in cooking. In some places such as the UK it is sold processed which basically means it is grated and combined with flour to keep the individual pieces from clumping together, and it becomes a sort of dried out short strands, almost granular in texture.
For the challenge we had two options, a crust type (steak and kidney pie) and a sponge cake type (Traditional Christmas cake). I really wasn’t interested in the suet option so I decided to do the dessert version and WOW, this pudding turned out amazing. If it wasn’t for this challenge I would have never made it but I am glad I did, and I will definitely make it again. For those that are wondering what is taste like, I think my best description in a Molten Chocolate Cake. It was amazing.
I found the original recipe from Dan Lepard from another Daring Baker who was also using it. It was easy to put together and it was an amazing dessert. I suggest eating it warm with whipped cream.
Steamed chocolate pudding
3 tbsp good dark cocoa
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
½ cup cold milk
2 slices stale bread (about 50g), or 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
4 tbsp melted butter
½ cup plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
Sugar for the pudding bowl(s)
Butter a 1-pint pudding bowl or several small pudding bowls, this is where the pudding will be cooked.
In a separate bowl whisk the cocoa and sugar with a dash of milk till smooth, then stir in the remaining milk, breadcrumbs, egg yolk and melted butter, beating after each addition. Sift the flour and baking soda together then fold this in. Put this batter in the pudding bowl(s) Butter a sheet of foil, fold a pleat in the middle, and secure this butter-side down with a length of string tied under the lip of the pudding bowl. If you are using several small you have to do this to each one.
Place the bowl(s) on an old saucer placed in the bottom of a large deep saucepan with a lid. Half fill the pan with water then bring to a boil; again if you are using small pudding bowls, just fill the pan with just a little water, you don’t want any water in the pudding. Then reduce the heat to a bare simmer, put the lid on, and cook for 1 1/2 hours – checking the water every 30 minutes to make sure is doesn’t boil dry.
Carefully lift the basin out of the pan, remove the foil, run a knife around the inside and turn on to a plate to serve with whipped cream.
Enjoy! Serves 4-6