INDIVIDUAL LEMON AND GINGER SYRUP SPONGES
Steamed puddings don’t have to be stodgy, heavy, suet based things. These little beauties are soft, light and fluffy. They are also wonderfully comforting on cold winter nights. The chopped ginger sinks down through the batter to mingle with the syrup and create a glorious sticky sweet topping for the soft golden sponge. You can make this as one bigger sponge if you prefer but bear in mind it will take longer cook.
I’d actually forgotten what a great ingredient golden syrup is. You can get it here but it’s very expensive compared to back home, thankfully my brother brought me some from back home on a recent visit. It was in the classic green Lyle’s tin too, which I suspect may have never changed, still embellished with the words “out of the strong came forth sweetness.” I can’t imagine many companies today thinking that putting the image of a bee’s nest and lion carcass on their product is a good marketing idea! The tin is something that could always be found in my Grandmas kitchen cupboards and I’m pretty certain that if I checked my mums larder there’d be a tin in there too. I can definitely remember eating slices of her fresh homemade bread with butter and golden syrup. Delicious.
50g soft brown sugar
50g white sugar
pinch of salt
120g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped crystalized ginger
splash of milk
4 tbsp golden syrup
Butter the mini pudding basins really well and drop a tablespoon of golden syrup into the bottom of each one, add a squeeze of lemon juice too. Set these aside whilst you make the sponge batter.
Beat together the butter, sugars and salt until they are fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the lemon zest and remaining juice and beat again. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold it all together. Finally mix through the chopped ginger and a splash of milk if the batter is too stiff (it should have nice soft dropping consistency.)
Divide the sponge batter evenly between the mini pudding basins and top with a piece of greaseproof paper. Cover the top of each basin with a piece of tin foil, folded with a pleat in the middle. Tie this around the rim of the basin with a piece of string. The pleat allows for the sponge to rise.
Put the puddings in a steamer over a large pan of boiling water and steam for 30 minutes. Once they are cooked remove the foil and paper lids and invert them into bowls ready to serve with cream, custard or ice cream (and maybe a blanket). Just be sure to scrape all of the yummy ginger syrup out of the molds, you don’t want to waste it!