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“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
from Boswell’s Life of Johnson
This is the sort of pudding that had me falling in love with British baking traditions: Simple, heart-warming and bursting with flavours. Perfect after a bracing walk round the Wetland Center in Barnes – where I took this reeds picture.
3 tbsp of golden syrup (or marmelade)
Self-raising flour 175g
Bicarbonate or baking powder 1 small spoonful
3 large eggs
Demerara sugar 175g
(optional : 5 dates soaked in warm water with a drop of vanilla extract or a tbsp of ground ginger)
Crème fraîche or double cream
Butter 1 tbsp
Prepare a pan of boiling water or an electric steamer.
Mix in the food processor: The flour, raising powder, soft butter, whole eggs, sugar and treacle. Scooping out the treacle with a hot spoon, dipped in boiling water, makes it very easy. Add the dates and vanilla or the ginger, if you choose.
Take a ceramic pudding bowl and smear generously with butter. Pour the golden syrup in the bottom. Add the mix. Level with a spoon and cover tightly with foil.
Put in your steamer or in a pan one third full of boiling water for at least two hours- not omitting to check the water level regularly!
Make the sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients to a small pan and heating through. Keep an eye on it until it achieves a nice golden toffee colour.
Take the pudding out and serve hot with a scoop of ice-cream – if you must…
My love affair with Japanese food started when I was a student in Paris, going to Japanese language evening classes after the Sorbonne and popping into Ozu films afterwards with a long-haired philosophy student who shared a love of Spinoza… Then, I learned how to deftly roll out sushis or fry tempura but today I am experimenting with pasta. The very same type of pasta early italian explorers like Marco Polo might have brought back in their luggage !