Speedy steamed sponge with basil and cherry

Speedy steamed sponge with basil and cherry

By
From
The Herb & Flower Cookbook
Serves
6
Cooking time
6 mins

I’m always comforted by a syrupy steamed sponge pudding, and the fact that this takes just minutes rather than hours to prepare makes it altogether a wonderful, fast fix. The sunshine flavours of the cherry and basil stop this from feeling too much like winter – the perfect pud for summer days that aren’t quite as warm as they should be.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g butter, plus extra for greasing
150g self-raising flour
150g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
150g cherries
1 1/2 tablespoons basil, chopped, plus a few whole leaves for serving
3 tablespoons golden syrup

Method

  1. In an electric mixer, cream the butter, flour, sugar, eggs, milk and almond essence until it forms a smooth mixture. Stone the cherries and chop into good-sized chunks. Add the cherries pieces and the basil to the batter and gently fold them in using a metal spoon.
  2. Grease a 1-litre pudding bowl and pour the golden syrup into the bottom. Carefully spoon the sponge mixture on top, taking care not to let the syrup and sponge mix too much. Cover the basin – a good-sized plate will do if you don’t have a lid – and place the cake in the microwave on full power for 6 minutes. The cake should rise almost to the top, be springy to the touch and a knife inserted into the middle should come out clean. Give the pudding an extra minute if not.
  3. Using a palette knife, carefully ease the knife around the edge of the pudding to loosen, then place a plate on top and turn the pudding upside down, holding the plate with one hand and the bowl with the other. With any luck, the pudding should plop out perfectly. Occasionally I turn it out and it’s not quite done at what is now the top – don’t worry, just cover it with the bowl and put it back in the microwave for 1 minute. Serve immediately sprinkled with a few basil leaves and double or clotted cream.

Substitute the basil with...

  • Mint, thyme or rosemary.
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