Tag Archives: sponge

rhubarb ginger sponge pudding

rhubarb ginger pudding

We were invited to Sunday lunch with some friends at the weekend, as Piers had a new toy to play with, and he wished to mandolin lots of potatoes to make a dauphinoise. It would have been churlish not to pop over and help them out with the consumption of same. So we did. As an aside, Piers is a damn good baker, and I hope his plans to start doing it commercially start to come together soon, once he can beat the beasts of bureaucracy into submission.

Anyway. I’m not great at puddings, and my repertoire is small (ooh er, missus), but I nipped or popped into the greengrocer on Friday to see if anything inspired. And there was Yorkshire rhubarb, so I bore it home. We almost always make a crumble with rhubarb, but I wanted to do something different, so here’s what I did.

450g forced rhubarb, cut into 1in/2.5cm lengths
110g soft brown sugar
110g butter
2 tsp freshly grated ginger (or more, if you like things gingery)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
70g ground almonds
2 eggs
50g self-raising flour (or plain, and ½ teaspoon of baking powder)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Spread the rhubarb out in an ovenproof dish (one about 6x8in/15x20cm). Now, I never add sugar to rhubarb, but if your tooth is sweeter than mine, scatter some brown sugar over the fruit.

Cream the butter and the rest of the sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the spices, almonds and then eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour (if you are making this in a food processor then just pulse in the flour, stopping as soon as it is amalgamated).

Spoon the mixture on top of the rhubarb, spreading it out lightly. I scattered some flaked almonds over the top too, as an afterthought.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown and more or less cooked through. It will still be a bit gooey in the middle, which just makes it better. If you let it sit for an hour (just about the time to drive from Hull to Doncaster, as it happens), it’ll firm up a bit more.

We warmed it through again when we got there, and ate it – all of it, I’m ashamed to say – with double cream.

Which after roast beef, pommes dauphinoise, cabbage and peas and beans was quite piggish. Particularly as we followed it with two sorts of cheese, two sorts of crackers, and some grapes. But, in our defence, Pete and I didn’t eat again until Monday lunchtime …

a quick almond sponge topping

Greengages exotic?
Personally, I wouldn’t call greengages remotely exotic, but clearly Morrisons’ mileage varies. I picked these up at the weekend, and made an almond sponge topping for them.

I halved the greengages and poached them in a little water for about 10 minutes, turning about half way through. I didn’t bother with any sort of sweetening, but you might want to add a bit of honey – we don’t have a particularly sweet tooth. If I’m poaching plums, I often add star anise, or some cloves and cinnamon.

On to the topping: this is great if you’re trying to keep your carbs down, as ground almonds are far less carby than flour.

Whizz 5oz ground almonds, 5oz margarine and 4oz sugar (anything will do – last night I used a mix of granulated and demerara, as that’s what came to hand), and two eggs, in the food processor.

Ladle it on top of the fruit, smooth it out a bit, bung in the oven for 50 minutes at gas 4 / 180˚. If you have some, sprinkle the top with slivered almonds, as they give it a lovely texture.

gooseberry sponge pudding

gooseberry pudding

A friend of mine regularly sells produce from her garden to support the LibDems, and this week she was offering gooseberries.  I bought 10lbs (for a fiver!) – 6lbs have gone to make wine, 2 bags full in the freezer, and the rest I put into a pudding last night.

The goosegogs went into a bowl, and I put in a good sloosh of elderflower cordial (gooseberries and elderflower are a match made in heaven) and a little honey. I didn’t even bother to top and tail them!

I beat 5oz of marg and 5oz of sugar until it was light and creamy, then added 2 eggs and 5 oz of ground almonds bit by bit (egg, then half the almonds then egg then rest of the almonds) and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla essence.

Lobbed the mix on top of the fruit and scattered with quite a lot of slivered almonds, as I’d opened a new bag last week, and some of them didn’t fit into their airtight jar and I wanted to use them up.

Baked at 180˚ for 50 minutes.  Gorgeous.