Queen of puddings

Puddings and cakes

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
Queen of puddings

Queen of puddings

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 100g butter
  • 100g sugar - I like to use soft light brown
  • The seeds from ½ vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self-raising flour - sieved
  • Flaked almonds or demerara sugar - optional

For the custard

  • 250ml double cream
  • 60ml milk
  • 40g caster sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod or ¼ tsp vanilla essence
  • 50g egg yolk (about 3)
  • 3tsp cornflour

For the blackberry compôte

  • 500g blackberries - washed
  • 125ml red wine, water or apple juice
  • 50g caster sugar

For the Swiss meringue

  • 100g egg whites (about 3)
  • 200g caster sugar

Method

For the sponge

  1. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg a little at a time until all is combined. If the mixture starts to separate, just add 1 or 2 spoonfuls of flour to stabilise and continue adding the eggs until fully incorporated.
  3. Add the flour and bring together.
  4. Bake at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for about 20 minutes or until cooked and a skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool fully before using.

You will only need about ¾ of this sponge for these four portions.

For the custard

  1. Combine the egg yolks, cornflour and half the sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Place the cream, milk, vanilla and the remaining sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Pour boiling milk onto the egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour into a clean saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring, until it coats the back of the spoon, about 5-10 mins.
  5. Cool before use.

For the blackberry compôte

  1. Place ½ of the blackberries into a saucepan with the other ingredients.
  2. Over a medium heat bring to a boil and continue to boil until you have a nice sauce-like consistency.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the remaining blackberries.
  4. Allow to cool.

For the Swiss meringue

  1. Place ingredients into a heatproof bowl.
  2. Over a pan of barely simmering water, whisk for about 5 mins, until thick and the sugar is dissolved and is no longer grainy.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk until cool, thick, glossy and firm peaks form. This will take about 5-10 minutes in a machine.
  4. Spoon meringue into a piping bag and keep in the fridge until required.

To assemble

You can serve this pudding in whatever container or however it takes your fancy. At Tyntesfield, we use wine glasses so you can see the individual layers, but one large pretty bowl or plate looks great too. If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch then bear in mind it will have to go under a hot grill to colour the meringue.

  1. Dice the sponge into 1 cm cubes and place in your chosen receptacle.
  2. Sprinkle with about 1 dessertspoon of liquor, such as blackberry vodka, gin or even a little sweet white wine and brandy.
  3. Spread the compôte on top of the sponge. Gently wiggle it and press it down a little to level it out.
  4. Pour the chilled custard on top, leaving space for the meringue.
  5. Pipe or spoon on the meringue. It looks fantastic if you can have lots of peaks to resemble a crown or jester's hat. Colour with a kitchen blow torch or under a hot grill.

Enjoy.