Thursday, December 20, 2007

Treacle sponge

The Observer Food Monthly last Sunday carried two recipes for treacle sponge. It must be seasonal. But I took mine from Margaret Costa's Four Seasons Cookery Book (from Grub Street, which is constructing a new website), which has featured here before. Instead of the golden syrup, I used black treacle; because treacle is stickier, I might have left out the breadcrumbs. The addition of lemon juice to cut through the sweetness was delicious; and the sponge was soft and airy. (It goes dense when cold.) Serves four to six.

2 tbsp golden syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
115 g caster sugar
115 g butter
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, beaten
140 g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt

Mix the syrup, lemon juice and breadcrumbs, and put them into a 1 litre, buttered pudding basin.

Cream the 115 g butter and sugar. (Soften the butter, and smear it into the sugar with the back of a spoon until entirely blended. The mixture should lighten.) Stir in the eggs and the lemon zest. Do not worry if the mixture curdles, because now you stir in the flour (with the pinch of salt -- I am not sure what this is for), which should sort it out. The mixture will be stiff. Add a couple of tbsps of milk, until you get what they call a "dropping consistency". Pour this blobby mixture on top of the syrup in the basin.

Wrap the basin in kitchen paper, and then, tightly, in three layers of foil. Put it into a large pot with a lid. Pour boiling water carefully round the basin to come half way up the sides, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer for one hour and three quarters, topping up the water level if necessary. Serve with cream or custard.

No comments: