Inspired by a baking show, I set my mind to make four British ‘puddings’ on the long weekend. They are the stuff found in novels and as I researched recipes I was reminded of references from Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton, and there is something tremendously Pickwickian about a dessert called, Queen of Puddings.
Most British puddings are a straightforward combination of bread crumbs, suet and jam. There is nothing subtle about the sweetness and their flavour is non-complex. I discovered that sauce is the key to these desserts, and all those mentions to custard and clotted cream in The Castle of Adventure, suddenly made sense.
I had no idea that ‘treacle’ was simply golden syrup, which I bought at Sobeys and didn’t even need help finding. It combines a semi-burnt sugar flavour with the lemon and breadcrumbs that form this tart’s bulk.
This is a layered pudding, with fluffy bread pudding on the bottom, black currant jam, and then a topping of meringue. The whole thing is served warm, and I found myself distracted by the bread pudding. It transformed to such a tender, fluffy consistency, that it outshone the meringue in my opinion.
This pudding typically features suet in the crust, but I cheated. The roll is crisp, and sticky from the jam filling. I served this with custard and it was slurpishly good.
Er – we ate it all. A light date cake poured over with three plus cups of toffee sauce. Yes please!
And now cue the sugar high. I think the next taste testing needs to be something as salty as it comes!