Category Archives: Puddings & Desserts

Sticky Apple Pudding

As I’ve said before I don’t make many baked puddings these days as our gas oven is so awful they tend to come out with a barely cooked top and a very burnt bum. But after steaming christmas puddings a few weeks ago I had a rather rare brainwave that I could steam a pud and bypass the dratted oven altogether. Amazing.

So here it is, christmas pudding aside, my first ever steamed pud, and what a triumph. Not a pretty triumph, but a wonderfully sticky and ever so naughty triumph….and a triumph not too suitable for those sticking to a New Year diet! And even if you don’t have a dodgy cooker like me please try a steamed pud, they’re so moist and sticky and utterly delish. Watch out for lots more Chez Foti steamed pud recipes coming up.

I set out to make an apple pud, as we still have lots of stored surplus from our apple harvest in the Autumn, and besides we all love an appley pud. So I took a normal steamed apple pud recipe (which is essentially just the same as a sponge cake recipe but with apples on the top) and stickied (loving my new word there) up the apples with some good old Golden Syrup and added lots of lemon zest to the sponge base. Yum. Combining the lemon and apple together worked marvellously, my winter pudding heaven!

Enough for 4:

3 tbsps of golden syrup

65g butter, at room temperature

3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into a small dice

a little flour and butter to grease and line the pudding basin

65g caster sugar

1 lemon, zested

1 and a half eggs, beaten

85g self-raising flour

3 tbsp milk

Place the golden syrup in a deep frying pan or saucepan along with 20g of the butter. Heat until bubbling a little and add the diced apple. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Meanwhile  beat together the rest of the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, preferably with an electric whisk. Add the lemon zest and beat in the eggs. Then beat in the flour and milk.

Grease and line a small pudding basin. Add the sticky apples first, then pile the cake mixture on top.

Cover the basin with a couple of layers of foil or baking paper forming a pleat on the top, and tie round the sides with string to secure firmly in place.

Place the basin in a saucepan of simmering water (the water level should come to about two thirds of the height of the basin) and simmer for an hour with the saucepan lid on. It’s cooked when you can insert a fork or skewer and it comes out clean.

When cooked turn out on to a plate and serve immediately with lashings of custard.

If you like this recipe, how about trying my Bread & Butter Leftovers Pud


My Great-Granny’s Christmas Pudding!

Yipppppeeee!  It’s the second day of December, the advent calendars are up (and choccies gobbled), decs soon to be up, the kids are excited beyond belief, and father christmas will be coming down that chimney before I can even spare a thought for sending my chrissie cards…as usual!

And it’s time to get cracking with the christmas puds. If you’ve never made one before I urge you to, they really are very easy. And this recipe, that’s been passed through several generations of my mum’s family, is honestly the best christmas pudding I have ever EVER eaten. We’re not sure quite how old it is, but it was certainly the recipe that my Granny and Great-Granny always used, albeit with a little tweaking here and there over the years. My mum’s highly successful tweaking omitted the suet, nor indeed any fat at all, and the result is a much lighter and less cloying, though somehow more delicious pud. And the secret un-tweaked ingredients that make this pud so extra special? Carrots and potatoes! Would you believe? But it really really works!

In writing this post I am also entering the ‘Christmas Carrot Competition’ organised by lovethegarden.com and the brilliant award winning food blogger eatlikeagirl.com to find the most creative and scrumptious carrot recipe. I think you’ll agree you can’t get much more creative with a carrot than the traditional Christmas pudding, my Great-Granny should be proud of herself!

To make 2 medium sized puddings (2 x 2 pint basins, each serving 6 people):

225g mixed dried fruit

225g sultanas

225g potato, finely grated

225g carrots, finely grated

225g breadcrumbs

225g soft brown sugar

115g currants

115g dried apricots, chopped

85g glace cherries, quartered

55g almonds, chopped

a little grated nutmeg

½tsp cinnamon

Place all of the ingredients in a very large bowl and mix thoroughly. The best way to do this is to get right in there and mix with your hands.

Butter your pudding basins and add the mixture evenly. Press it down a little, the puddings should come to about ½ inch from the top of the basin. Place a circle of greaseproof paper on top of the mixture within the basin.  Cover the entire basin and part way down the sides with a couple of layers of foil, tie some string tightly around the sides of the basin to secure in place.

Place each pudding in a large saucepan (you must have a lid for it). The pudding should NOT be tight fitting and there should be ample space around the sides. Poor in boiling water until the level reaches ¾ of the height of the basin. Place on the hob with the lid on and bring back to the boil and simmer gently for 5 hours. As the water level in the pan drops top up with boiling water, you will probably have to do this 3 or 4 times. After 5 hours take off the heat and leave to cool in the pan.

The pudding will now keep for up to a month in the fridge or a year in the freezer. Please note that these puddings don’t keep for lengthy periods in the fridge in the same way as puddings that contain preserving suet do.

When you want to eat your pud, boil for one hour in the same way as above. Turn out of the basin and serve!


Bread & Butter Leftovers Pudding

I don’t make many puddings.  Not because I can’t, but for three reasons. Firstly, my oven is rubbish; it’s a temperamental cheap (and very temporary) gas oven that can only function semi-correctly on one exact shelf position….and even that manages to destroy anything that’s ever so slightly delicate!  All things cakelike, flannish, or puddingy are baked at my own risk and generally come out with a black burnt crisp on their bottom.  Obviously we’re hoping to replace the damned thing with a super-duper all singing all dancing electric oven in the very near future.  The other reason is simply time!  I tend to focus my spare minutes on filling tummies with main courses, and rarely have the luxury of time to put a pud together too.  Reason number three is that neither of my children have particularly sweet tooths and puddings are generally left to the consumption of Philipe and I, and neither of us truthfully need those extra calories!

Bread & butter pudding however ticks all the above problem boxes!   Being quick to cook it never burns it’s bum too badly, is incredibly quick to put together and isn’t too sweet to put the kids off.  And it resolves another problem we have at Chez Foti ….. what to do with all our leftover bread. Today being a Sunday I had a few free minutes and made my pud using just some stale bread, but I often bung in old croissants (wonderfully rich), brioche (even more wonderfully rich) or pain au chocolat (sublime) ….. or more often than not a mixture of all of these!  If you do use these richer breads omit the butter as they already contain a heart stopping amount.

If I do go to the trouble of making a pud, I tend to make a large one so there’s plenty of leftovers for the next day.

Enough for 6

150g leftover bread, croissants, brioche or pain au chocolat – in slices (you need enough to make up 2 layers of your dish)

butter – enough to butter the bread and grease your dish

50g raisins or sultanas

3 eggs

400ml whole milk

50g golden caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling on the top

a little nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 180°C/355°F/Gas 4.

Butter your bread and lay half the slices in a buttered overproof dish, filling in all gaps like a jigsaw to make a complete layer.  Scatter over the raisins or sultanas.  Add another layer of bread.

In a large jug or a bowl whisk the eggs lightly and then whisk in the milk and sugar.  When combined pour evenly over the bread.

Grate a little nutmeg and sprinkle a fine layer of sugar over the top.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the custard has set and the top is a lovely golden brown.

Serve immediately with lashings of custard.


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