Wicked winter warmers


By Jan Bilton

Puddings — as we know them — are distinctly English creations. There is a school of thought that the Roman sausage was a type of pudding, and the Portuguese have their pudim and the Spanish their pudin. However, it was a new style of oven which revolutionized English home cooking and established ‘pudding’ as their sweet national treasure.

In 16th century England, many ordinary houses introduced small ovens built into their chimneys. The ovens were not very hot which made it possible to cook a cereal ‘pudding’ slowly.

At this time, the alternative method of cooking a pudding was by boiling. Sweet and savoury mixtures were forced into a length of animal gut, then boiled or steamed. In the 17th century the pudding-cloth was invented and this allowed cooks to prepare puddings at any time. A proliferation of sweet and savoury recipes resulted. They became a daily favourite with most of the English.

Banana & Butterscotch Pudding


A self-saucing pudding.

Base: 2 medium bananas, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour

100g butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoons golden syrup

Topping: 2 tablespoons cornflour

1/2 cup each: brown sugar, golden syrup

1 1/2 cups boiling water

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 6-cup (23cm x 23cm) baking dish.

To make the base, place the bananas evenly over the base of the baking dish.

Combine the brown sugar, flour, butter, egg, milk and golden syrup. Mix until smooth. Pour into the baking dish.

To make the topping, combine the cornflour with the brown sugar and sprinkle over the top.

Stir the golden syrup into the boiling water and pour over the back of a spoon onto the pudding. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Great served with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 8.

  • Jan Bilton is a Cambridge-based, professional food writer. To find more of her winter warmer recipes click here.

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