Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pretty Bittersweet Steamed Chocolate Orange Pudding

I've wanted to make this pudding for quite some time mostly because it is SO pretty and despite the fact that I am not a big chocolate lover - I like it don't get me wrong I just don't love or crave it the way so many people do - I am sure there is something missing in my personality to be thus but I accept my burden humbly. Many times when you see a recipe in a magazine or book, I have found, to my dismay, that they rarely, if ever, come out in my kitchen the way they do so perfectly in the photographs but I have to say this time I was pretty impressed with myself and you will be too - with yourself I mean - if you also make this pudding. It is a delightfully moist little number and although it looks fudgy and wet like a flourless chocolate cake in the close up below it is not like that or indeed like a regular steamed pudding - it' not spongey or cakey but it is dense AND light and crumbly because of the almonds - the oranges make it DIVINE - they are lightly marmaladey and not too bitter - they were the winner in this pudding for me. This recipe is from British Country Living magazine January 2011 - the article is by Clarissa Hyman and recipes by Alison Walker.

Always read the recipe through first - this one takes a couple of hours total - have everything at the ready - your steamer bubbling delightfully and all the ingredients at room temperature as that makes for easier creaming and less curdling of the batter.

Serves 6 easily.

Prepare the orange slices first:
One thin skinned orange cut into thinnish (1/4" 5mm or a little less) slices.

4 fl ozs/125mls water

4oz/125 sugar

I found the easiest way to do this was in a big frying pan where I could have all the slices on the same level - I tried a couple of saucepans but then the slices were on top of one another - so try a big frying pan first.
1. Dissolve the sugar in the water - boil gently for a couple of minutes and then add the slices.

2. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. 

3. Remove the slices and allow to cool completely and reserve the liquid for pouring over the finished pudding.

6oz/175g butter - you know I always use Kate's which has tons of goodly flavour

6oz/175g sugar

3 eggs whisked

4 1/2oz/125g plain white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 oz/35g cocoa powder (the recipe said 2oz/50g but I reduced that because as I mentioned I'm not a big chocolate personage but you can go for the bigger amount if you want :))

3oz toasted almonds ground - toast for about 8 minutes in a 350f oven until browned and fragrant - taste one carefully and see if it tastes toasted - and keep an eye on them because they catch fast - allow to cool COMPLETELY and grind as suggested below. 

2 tablespoons whole milk

To grind your almonds yourself: In a coffee grinder place a handful of the COLD almonds and a couple of tablespoons of the already measured flour and then grind to a powder - if you do the almonds by themselves in the grinder they will become greasy and not grind to a goodly powder - the addition of the flour really helps this process!

1. Grease a pudding bowl - mine measures 7 1/2" across by 4" high and was well big enough - I only have a domed one but it worked fine - you can see in the British Country Living pic they used a 'proper' pudding bowl that has a flat top. 

2.Line the bottom of the bowl with greased parchment paper:
 3. Arrange the cooled orange slices in the bowl thus:
4. Commence making the pudding!

5. Sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

6. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

7. To stop the mix from curdling add the eggs in batches and beat well between additions - if it does curdle which it might as this is a lot of eggs do not fear the mix will come back together when you add the dry ingredients :)

8. Fold in the dry ingredients and then the 2 tablespoons of milk and incorporate well:
8. Put a couple of big tablespoons of the chocolate yumminess on top of the orange slices gently and spread to fill the cracks:
9. Then add the rest of the batter and smooth.

10. Now cut a large circle of parchment/greaseproof paper big enough to cover the bowl and go down the sides by an inch or so then cover tightly with aluminium foil and secure with an elastic band then tie with string as the picture leaving long ends for easy putting into and taking out of the steamer!:
11. Now put into a double steamer basket and steam the little darling for about 1 1/2 hours and make sure you keep checking the water isn't getting too low.
(Make your custard whilst the pudding is steaming)
12. Remove the pudding with the string and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto your serving plate: 
Pat yourself on the back because it looks so good!!

12. Put the orange syrup back on the stove and simmer until nice and thick - if you go too far you can always add a little water and bring it back to syrupy - but don't burn it which is easy to do - and pour over the pudding.
It looks wet and fudgy but it isn't - it's moist and crumbly!

Add lashings of Chocolate Custard!!

For 6 you may want to double this recipe :)


10fl oz/1 1/4 cups of whole milk
1 heaped tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 whole large egg and 1 large egg yolk whisked together
3 ozs chocolate chips

1. Beat together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and sugar together in a bowl.
2. Heat the milk to almost boiling and add in the chocolate and whisk until melted.
3. Stir a little of the hot milk into the egg mix and then a bit more to temper the temperature.

4. The add the egg/sugar/milk chocolate mix back into the warmed milk in the pan and stir until it thickens - you must stir the custard constantly and do not leave it alone until it is finished or it will curdle whilst you are not looking and you will have to start again. SO stir and stir and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to thicken and coats the back of the spoon take the spoon out of the custard, turn the spoon over, run your finger through the custard and if the line doesn't fill back in it is ready, don't let it cook too long or get too hot as the eggs will start to turn into scrambled eggs and the sauce will be grainy.....take off the heat immediately and continue to stir. 

You can eat this pudding hot - which is how it is meant to be - or cold which is how I prefer it - the oranges are WONDERFUL and I want to try a blond version of this soon. Personally I think the chocolate custard was too much and I would go with regular and if you want to do that you just leave out the chocolate chips and do the recipe the same.

Happy STEAMING and do let me know if you make this pudding - you can post pics on my Facebook page

Yesterday was the perfect day to steam a pudding - it was FRIGID in Maine - about 20F and snowing lightly - today however is warm and mild and raining 50f ish.

Here are pics from yesterday - I think the bittersweet pic is apropos, no?

The snowy lane down to Blueberry Hill



June said...

Ohhhh.....this looks so delicious, and you're right - so beautiful and pretty. A veritable feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, as well.
And that plate you've served it up on is beautiful, too. Chocolate and orange work so beautifully together - like Terry's Chocolate Orange slices (yum!).

Lovely photos you've taken, too. It's not yet snowing here, but it's definitely coming - I can feel it and sense its arrival due shortly. I love freshly fallen snow, and I love looking at it from inside (preferably somewhere cozy and comfy and roasty toasty warm) - so beautiful and serene and calm (and lovely when you can see little paw tracks of all kinds). Winter's not my favourite season, i have to say (autumn is), but there is so much natural beauty at this time of year.

Thanks for sharing the lovely photos Patricia, as well as a great pud that I'd love to try (maybe after all the Christmas fairs are over and done with, and I can relax properly with a lovely afternoon or two of blissful I miss it!)

Patricia said...

Dear June - thanks for your always lovely and heartwarming comments here :) I hope you do make this pudding - I loved it - the orange is SO good. The snow has already gone away today it's back up in the 50's - all very odd. Love to you and sending wishes for great prosperity at your Christmas Markets - Cheers - Patricia xx