A real treat – a very light, moist and utterly irresistible sponge pudding with a little spice plus a sticky, nutty topping! If you haven’t steamed a sponge before it isn’t difficult at all, just check the pan now and again to make sure that the water hasn’t all boiled away.
1. Beat the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy, either by hand with a wooden spoon or using an electric whisk or mixer. Gradually beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition, followed by the milk.
2. Sift the flour and cinnamon into the bowl then tip the bran left in the sieve on top. With a large metal spoon carefully fold the flour into the creamed mixture.
3. Arrange the nuts on the base of the pudding basin then pour over the maple syrup. Carefully spoon the sponge mixture into the basin, and level the surface. Lightly grease a large square of greaseproof paper and fold a deep pleat in the centre (to allow the pudding to expand). Cover the bowl with the greaseproof, and tie in place around the rim with string. If you make a large loop of string at each side it will make it easier to remove the basin after cooking. Finally cover with foil (or use a snap-on lid). Set the basin on an upturned saucer in a large saucepan then pour in enough boiling water to come about half-way up the sides of the basin. Cover with the pan lid and simmer steadily for 1 1/2 hours, topping up with boiling water as necessary.
4. When ready to serve remove the foil and greaseproof and invert the pudding on to a warmed heatproof plate. Serve with extra warm maple syrup and cream, ice-cream or custard. Any left-over pudding can be gently reheated or eaten cold as a cake.
Cuts into 6 to 8 slices
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g light brown Muscovado sugar
2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
100g Marriage’s Organic Light Brown Self-Raising Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
50g pecan nuts
4 tablespoons maple syrup
900ml/2pt heatproof pudding basin, greased