May I recommend baking to add happiness to your weekend? I KNOW! Two years into our pandemic, and I’m the first person to think of this?!? It’s stunning, really.
But more particularly, may I recommend this incredibly easy Sticky Figgy Pudding recipe, into which you can substitute any kind of dried fruit you prefer, reconstituting it with any kind of hot liquid you prefer (e.g. boiling water spiked with something boozy), and whose sauce can be made with light or dark sugar, and any kind of syrup that goes with the flavor profile of the cake. I’m putting in the basic recipe, which is courtesy of Howard’s free Bake with a Legend webinar today, and a bunch of options for swap-outs.
Ingredients for the Figgy Puddings:
150ml (⅔ cups) very hot coffee; or 2-3 Tbsp of orange/coffee/nut liquor, rum or brandy, or orange juice, plus enough boiling water to make 2/3 cup
100g (⅔ cups) soft dried figs, roughly chopped (could also use dried apricots, cherries, dates, a mix of golden and dark raisins, etc.)
2 large (UK) eggs (or 2 XL US eggs or 2.5 large US eggs)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
75g (⅓ cup) brown sugar (light or dark, your choice)
125g (1 cup) plain flour*
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1tsp orange zest
Optional spices: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, allspice (use amounts in proportion to common sense & your taste — first three up to 1 tsp; last three more like 1/4 tsp each; don’t use all of them at once!!)
For the Sauce:
35g (2 ½ tbsp) brown, coconut, or white sugar, depending on sauce profile
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp extract or 1 Tbsp something boozy (amaretto, Bailey’s, Frangelico, etc)
50ml (1/4c) Milk or Cream
2 Tbsp date, maple, brown rice, or golden syrup, or black treacle or molasses
Edible gold stars, glitter, ccandied ginger, etc, for decoration
OPTIONS for combinations
- figs reconstituted with coffee; spiced with 1/2 tsp each ginger and cinnamon; light brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla in the sauce
- apricots reconstituted with orange liquor & water; sauce with light brown sugar, maple syrup, amaretto
- cherries reconstituted with brandy & water; sauce with white sugar, golden syrup, a fruity liquor
- raisins & currents reconstituted with rum & water; spiced with 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg; sauce with light brown sugar, molasses, vanilla
*If using cups, gently spoon flour into cup. Do not pack in.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan (350F/325F convection). Butter and flour 6 small popover tins or ramekins, or one 4-cup cake pan (8″ layer, or small-size bundt tin).
- Mix boiling water with booze, or heat coffee (instant espresso is also fine), and pour this into a small bowl with the chopped dried fruit.
- In a large mixing bowl, preferably with a handheld electric mixer, whisk the eggs with the oil and sugar until frothy.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and orange zest. Mix well.
- Add the soaked dried fruit with all its marinade liquid, and mix with a wooden spoon. Batter will be runny.
- Pour batter into tins, being sure to distribute fruit evenly if using small tins. If using individual ones, place them on a baking sheet to bake. Bake for about 20 min for individual tins or shallow pan; 25-30 minutes for a single, deeper tin, until well risen and firm to the touch and a cake tester or skewer inserted in the centre comes out reasonably clean (you don’t want any wet batter on the skewer but a few moist crumbs are fine).
- Make the sauce while the puddings are baking. Heat the sugar, syrup, and booze/vanilla in a small pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely (you don’t want any grittiness left).
- Trickle in the milk or cream slowly, stirring constantly so that the sauce doesn’t seize, and then simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Let puddings cool five min in pan, then loosen edges and remove puddings onto plate. Trim the bottoms to level if needed.
- Serve the puddings with warm sauce spooned over. Decorate with edible stars, glitter, sprinkles, grainy sugar, candied ginger, or whatever goes best with the flavors of your pudding. Eat warm!
Note: if you wish to bake ahead, puddings without sauce will store nicely, once cooled, in an airtight container overnight. Warm slightly in microwave before serving. Sauce should be made right before serving, and spooned over warm.