I know quite a few of you in the northern hemisphere are suffering lots of cold weather, so this week I thought I’d present another sticky, comforting dessert to help you through the chills. Marlena Spieler brought us her Sticky Toffee-Coffee Pudding last November, just in time for the dropping temperatures, and now we have her Treacle Sponge. Our British and Aussie readers are probably quite familiar with this, but it’s not a dessert we see much of in the US. It’s easy to knock together in a matter of minutes because it only takes flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. The treacle sponge is traditionally steamed in a sealed container; however, to make things easy, Marlena offers you instructions for baking it instead. She says the pudding (as the Brits call it) gets sticky and gooey all the same, so you don’t need to worry about steaming. I think it’s a fine alternative if you aren’t set up for steaming! I tried both ways, and they did indeed render the same result. If you can’t find golden syrup where you are, you can try maple syrup. — Kristina
About Marlena: Marlena is a food writer and a print and broadcast journalist who has divided her time between the UK and San Francisco, New York, Naples (Italy) and Paris (France) for the past 23 years. She is the author of the James Beard Award-Winning Roving Feast column in the San Francisco Chronicle. You can find her on Twitter or visit her website for more great food writing.
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
Serves about 4
- 100g/4 oz softened butter (salted is fine; if you use unsalted, add an extra pinch salt when you make the batter)
- 100g/4 oz sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g/4 oz self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 8 tablespoons golden syrup, mixed with about 1 tablespoon warm water
1. Butter a 3-cup (1 1/2 pint) pudding bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 4-5.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until it is creamily soft and fluffy, and then add the eggs one at a time, as well as a tablespoon or two of flour every so often to keep it all sort of emulsified (i.e., mushed together).
3. Fold in the flour and salt, mixing lightly. It may be dry; you want a thick but not dry batter. If it seems a bit too thick and dry, add a few tablespoons of milk and mix in.
4. Put the golden syrup that you’ve diluted with water into the bottom of the pudding bowl, and then spoon the sponge mixture carefully on to the top. Cover with a sheet of buttered foil or parchment, place a lid over it or tie on with string.
5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the sponge feels firm-ish (i.e., baked through — use a cake tester or raw spaghetti strand to test for doneness).
6. To serve, loosen the sides with a paring knife, and then place the bowl on top and invert; it may make a mess when you turn it over, but it might invert nicely. A more surefire way to serve it is to simply spoon it out of the bowl and onto individual plates/bowls.
You could also serve cream alongside it; it’s up to you . . .
Why Marlena Chose This Recipe
I love treacle sponge because the syrup (treacle part of title, though it’s not treacle at all but golden syrup), is sooooooo rich, so giddily sweet-rich that it makes the roof of my mouth tickle when I eat it. The sponge is delicate, the syrup intense, and it doesn’t have other flavors getting in the way: it is exactly what it is — rich and sweet and everything a perfect pudding should be. It’s what won me over to the whole British-steamed pudding thing. But I bring my excessive nature to it: I use twice the amount of syrup than most recipes call for!