Self-saucing puddings. I’d be hard pressed to come up with a more comforting, warming winter dessert.
Ever since I first encountered the magic of a pudding that is crisp and cakey on the top and then moist and saucey on the bottom, I’ve been hooked. At boarding school, one of the few edible things apart from toast, was Sister Gemma’s chocolate self saucing pudding.
I was going to share a chocolate pudding recipe with you, but last week I had the inspiration to try out a ginger version and the results were seriously good. My Irishman even gave them the highest accolade of ‘best dessert, ever’. And for me, they would beat a chocolate pudding any day.
So just in case you need an excuse to get into pudding making mode, I’ve done some research on the benefits of ginger in our diet, and a few interesting ginger facts. Would love to hear in the comments if you have a favourite ginger recipe to share.
9 things you should know about ginger
1. ginger helps digestion
Ginger is meant to aide the digestion of fatty foods as well as helping to break down proteins and has also been linked to reducing gas.
2. ginger has been linked with many health benefits
Ginger has been touted as relieving nausea, especially for motion sickness and has been recommended for morning sickness. It’s also meant to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. It’s also been linked with reducing cholesterol and relaxing blood vessels. Is there anything ginger can’t do (?)
3. fresh is best
Although you can use dried powdered ginger, candied (crystallised) ginger, or even pickled ginger in cooking, I find that the flavour of fresh ginger is the best. Apparently the health benefits are more pronounced with fresh ginger as well. To convert a recipe from dried ginger substitute in 6 parts fresh grated ginger for 1 part of ground.
4. ginger should not be wrinkly or dark
When shopping for ginger, choose fresh-looking, firm, crisp stems and keep away from the dark, shriveled ones.
5. the potency varies
Like chilli, not all gingers are equal. Generally, the younger and fresher the ginger stem, the less intense the flavour. This is probably related to simple dilution and moisture content as anything else.
6. ginger makes an excellent tea
My Irishman got me onto this one. It makes a wonderful after-dinner treat when you feel like something sweet but don’t have space for dessert. Just slice off a few rounds of fresh ginger stem and pop them in the bottom of a mug or glass. Top with boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes or so. Serve with honey to taste.
7. store fresh ginger in the refrigerator
Ginger is best stored unpeeled at cooler temperatures. Like most veg, best to wrap in plastic or pop in an airtight container to prevent it drying out.
8. ginger can also be stored in the freezer
If you aren’t using ginger very often, it can also be stored whole in the freezer. This has the added benefit that frozen ginger is easier to grate
9. ginger can be addictive
But with all those health benefits, surely this isn’t a problem(!)
[5 ingredients | simple baking]
self-saucing ginger puddings
I’ve included two levels of ginger in the recipe – both are delicious. If you like your ginger subtle then just use the 1 tablespoon. But if you feel like getting a real, burning ginger hit, double up with the 2 tablespoons.
These puddings are brilliant for entertaining. Mix up the cake part and have it ready in your ramekins – a few hours in advance is fine. Then when you’re ready to cook, just add the boiling water + sugar mixture and bake.
Most steamed pudding recipes get you to cream the butter and sugar but I’ve found that just melting the butter is much easier and gives excellent results.
If you don’t have self raising flour, just use plain flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder mixed through. Big NOTE – you need 200g (7oz) brown sugar total, but it’s used in 2 different stages.
I like them best with vanilla icecream but they’d also be lovely with some thick cream.
100g (3 1/2oz) unsalted butter
1 – 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
200g (7oz) brown sugar
100g (3 1/2 oz) self raising flour
Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and add ginger and HALF the brown sugar (100g / 3 1/2oz). Stir and then add eggs, stirring well after each. Lightly mix in the flour until just combined. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps. Divide cake mixture between 4 x 1 cup capacity ramekins or dishes.
Combine the remaining HALF of the brown sugar with 1 cup boiling water. Pour over the cake mixture. Cover loosly with a large piece of foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes until puddings are puffy and golden.
Serve hot with vanilla icecream.
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