Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge April 2010-British Puddings

Figgy Pudding
Sticky Toffee Pudding     

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged  everyone to make a traditional British pudding ( to us non-Brits, that's a steamed cake) using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet
Now, what is suet you ask? Well, at first thought I kept thinking," Are they wanting me to put bird feed suet in my steamed pudding?!?! " No, no...that's not what was being advised. According to the Daring Bakers website:
"Suet is the hard but flaky fat found on the inside of a cow or sheep around the kidneys and that area of the body." 
 Well, animal kidney fat is indeed always the first ingredient I crave when making my baked goods :) OK, ok, so maybe not. Call me unadventurous if you must. Instead, I opted for the packaged suet...vegetable suetNow, just so you know... you are not going to find this down at the local Winn Dixie. This is a British staple. I had to order  it online. I have read that you can replace the suet with butter or shortening if desired. But, since I was going for authentic, I went to the effort to get the suet.
    For the challenge, I made two steamed puddings. The first, Sticky Toffee Pudding,  was for practicing the steaming method (this did not contain suet) and the second was to be my actual (suet containing) Daring Baker's pudding. Honestly, I really loved my first pudding the most. Everything about it was wonderful. It was moist beyond belief and sweet enough to lock your jaw. Just how I prefer my dessert ;) The second, Figgy Pudding, was a bit more sophisticated. It was not as sweet and a bit drier and denser. I wanted to adore the Figgy Pudding. Mainly, because I wanted to make it at Christmas and go around singing "Oh bring me some Figgy Pudding, oh bring me some Figgy pudding..." But, so is life. Perhaps, I'm just not British enough to love the authentic suet-filled figgy pudding. Or perhaps, I just really don't care for figs. Who knows?!?
     I do highly recommend the steaming method for these cakes (puddings). I had never even considered steaming a cake, but, wow, it makes for a super moist cake! I will certainly make these puddings again, perhaps at Christmas. So, give one/or both of these recipes a try and see which you like. Then, you will have a unique new recipe to try on your family during the holidays. Thank you Ester for this unique challenge!! Enjoy!!

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Maple Butterscotch Sauce
via Food Network 

  • 12 ounces dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with parchment or waxed paper.Combine the dates and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and gradually stir in the baking soda (it will foam up), and set aside.In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar to the butter, and cream until fluffy. Without stopping the mixer, add 2 of the eggs and mix until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the dates and mix until combined. Repeat until all the flour mixture and the dates are incorporated into the batter. Pour into the baking pan and bake about 40 minutes, until firm and set in the center. Let cool in the pan. When cool, turn out of the pan onto a baking sheet and peel off the parchment paper. The recipe can be made through this step up to 2 days in advance.

Maple-Butterscotch Sauce:

via That's my Home
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. light cream or half and half 
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and the syrup. Over medium heat stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Gradually stir in the cream. Return the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, and remove from the heat. (The sauce can be made a few days in advance, stored in a covered jar, and refrigerated. To rewarm, bring the jar to room temperature, place in a small pan of water, and place over low heat.)

Figgy Pudding


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 cup chopped suet
  • 1 1/2 cup dried Mission figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dried dates, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Hard Sauce, recipe follows


Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Mix together the rest of the ingredients, except the egg whites, adding just the yolks. Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Grease a pudding mold dredged with sugar and pour in batter. Cover the mold with its lid or cover tightly with foil. Steam for 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size of your mold. Serve hot with hard sauce. If you are not serving the pudding immediately, store in the refrigerator soaking in 1 ounce of brandy. Add 1 ounce each week.
Serve with warmed Hard Sauce.

Hard sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (or substitute half & half)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream the butter in an electric mixer until pale in color. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the flavorings and mix in then adjust, to taste.Thin to desired consistency.


This Wife Cooks said...

Yum! So glad you went with the veggie suet - so much better for you! For a brief moment, I did think you were talking about bird food! :)

Laura said...

Nice job! They both look great. Maple butterscotch sauce sounds divine . . . mmmm.

Tia said...

the pudding idea scared me away from this month's DB challenge :(

Suet... I guess I'm not daring enough, lol. yours looks great though!

Rick said...

Those pictures made me drool.

Elle said...

Wow! Two kinds of puddings. I like the sticky toffee one myself, although I make mine with treacle (Lyle's Golden Syrup to be exact) but love the idea of maple flavor with it. No so sure about the figgy one, but then I'm not big of figs. Love your photo of it drenched in hard sauce!

Chef Jeena said...

Gorgeous recipe it looks and sopunds so very delicious, what a treat! :)

Lucie said...

Thanks for letting us know about the moist results! I'm really intrigued by steaming now--I already steam all my veggies, so why not cake? I'd be curious to see how this technique would work out with a traditional cake recipe (not great, maybe!). Your puddings look super yummy!

Audax said...

I love both sorts of pudding and great that you used suet and amazing results and wonderful that you will be making this again. Yes I agree that steaming puddings are so moist. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Kel said...

Both of your puddings look wonderful and the Toffee with Maple Butterscotch Sauce sounds amazing! I also had visions of the "Figgy Pudding" song at Christmas time - but the husband sort of ruled that idea out. :)

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Thanks for all the kind word!!
Lucie-several of the Daring Bakers indicated that they used typical pound cake recipes with great success. Let me know how this works out if you try it!

cookies and cups said...

kidney fat does sound tasty, doesn't it?! Love that you went with the veggie stuff...
very nice job!

Denise said...

Both of your puddings look so decadent, especially with the sauces. Kudos to you for ordering the suet online and trying two different versions. Wonderful job on the challenge!

Jenny said...

I LOVE sticky toffee pudding... Your results look amazing! If I decide to give steamed puddings a second (and more successful, I hope) try, I may have to use this recipe. :)

Mary said...

Both your puddings look fantastic! I think you made a good choice in sticking to vegetarian suet. I will certainly use butter next time around! How about putting figs in the sticky toffee pudding at Christmas? Then you can have the yummy pudding and sing the song!

Eve said...

Love it, love it, love it! Amazing photos and it sounds really yummy. I can't wait to make more puddings!

kristenly said...

your blog is so cute...and your pudding looks yummy! love that you used veg suet. good choice.

Patty said...

Bird food was my first thought too! Great job on this month's challenge.

The Betz Family said...

Maple butterscotch sauce, yum! I thought the same thing when I read you did figgy pudding, how can you get more British than that. :) Great job on completing your challenge!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Figgy pudding, that sounds yummy! I made the sticky toffee pudding too and we loved it.

Faith said...

Popping in from Friday Follow:) Can't wait to try some of your yummy recipes!

Letherton said...


From FF and wanted to say hi.
Take a minute an check my blog out if you haven't already.
I have lots of great giveaways going on.
Thanks :)


Nicole Marie said...

so is it bad that i ONLY want to make and eat the maple butterscotch sauce? lol YUMMY!!!
i am a new follower from ff..nice to "meet" you.
can't wait for more!!!!


Thechattymom said...

Stopping by from the FF! And am now following thru GFC.

Cravings for something sweet are hitting me like crazy!! Everything looks SO good. Beautiful pictures.

Please stop by for a visit!

Krista said...

Both do look wonderful! Great pictures! I wonder, do you think that lard would work in place of suet?

Julie M. said...

OMG.... I LOVE sticky toffee pudding! I've never had it with suet before though. I just joined the daring bakers as well. They have some amazing challenges! Great job!

sanjeet said...

the pudding idea scared me away from this month's DB challenge :(
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