Apr 27, 2010

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Traditional British Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Esther of  The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

The required elements of this challenge were:
1) to make a suet pudding using real suet or as close a replacement as we can manage or is acceptable to us; and
2) to cook it by steaming or if we want to be even more traditional by boiling tied up in a cloth.

The Original Recipe Sources:
Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, The pudding club, Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management and the Dairy Book of Home Cooking and Esther's family’s recipe notes!

So I´m here with this British pudding recipe. It's something special, because it's my first daring bakers' challenge! I´m officially a member, wonderful! However, let's get to the pudding. The pudding is made using suet, which is pretty hard to get here in the Czech Republic. To be honest, you cannot get it almost anywhere. Even though I went to try to get some in local butcher's. In fact I visited all of them, which means six shops. In four of them I was told this: "Oooh, that's something we DO NOT have!" I got really funny answers in the remainig two stores. Once again I asked about the suet and for the first time the answer was positive. I thought I won. At least until she asked me what I wanted it for. When I told her about the British pudding, she looked at me and said: "That must be extra fresh, mustn't it?" I nodded in agreement. And then she replied: "We don't have anythig fresh in here!" So that's absolutely perfect. Well, my question was the same in the last remaining store and the reply? Pretty odd: "We don't have anything like that. We don't sell meat!" So now I know there's no meat at butcher's :D Because of this I had to replace the suet with old ordinary lard.
We had some choices - whether to do a savoury pudding or a sweet one. I chose Sussex Pond Pudding. But I tried to go wild (as Esther suggested) and changed some stuff in filling :)
You'll need for 1 pudding (for 1 litre pudding bowl):
Lard pastry:
  • 250 g self-raising flour (or a combination of  flour and baking powder)
  • 175 g lard
  • 210 ml milk (probably less)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 amount of lard pastry (recipe above)
  • 120 g Demerara sugar
  • 120 g butter
  • 2 small oranges or mandarines (with a thin skin)

1. For the pastry mix the flour and lard together.
2. Season the flour and suet mixture with cinnamon, cocoa and sugar.
3. Add the milk, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together.
4. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard.
5. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl.

6. For the filling cut the butter into small pieces and put half in the basin with half the sugar.
7. Prick the whole oranges (preferably with a thin skin) all over, using a thick skewer.
8. Place on top of the butter and sugar in the basin.
9. Cover with the rest of the butter and sugar.

10. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal.

11. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water.

12. Steam for 5 hours, adding more water if needed.
13. To serve, turn the pudding into a dish with a deep rim, when you slice into it the rich orange sauce will gush out.
Bon Appetite!

The Final Word:
To be honest I didn´t like the pudding too much. I´m not a fan of candied fruit so it was not something for me. I was not too impressed. It´s not like it was bad, but it was not anything really great. Really cannot say this. The pastry was tasteless - I don´t like this. The only taste I felt was bitter cocoa flavour. The oranges weren´t anything special. But it was eatable.
Rating: **/*****


  1. I think that's the first chocolate sussex pond I've seen. Those oranges do look pretty amazing in there though. Sorry you didn't like it much. It sounds like it can be hit or miss with the sussex pond. Great job on completing your first challenge!

  2. The orange looks beautiful in the middle of the chocolate pudding! Too bad you didn't like it more:(
    I thought the crust was tasteless too!

  3. WOW that pudding does look totally awesome - sorry to hear it wasn't fabulous only just OK. Great you did this challenge and that you can steam a pudding now LOL LOL. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  4. Well done!!
    Looks great.

  5. Hi, thank you all very much. I think maybe spotted dick or that sponge type would be better. But it was a great experience though :)

  6. Sorry you didn't care for it. I'm impressed you tried so hard to find the suet. Welcome to DBs.