Challenge Book #26 - Cabinet Puddings
I love computor effects. My parent's computor has all these great ones. I've spent ages churning out Andy Warhol inspired cucumbers and all kinds of things. This is one of my favourites - pen and charcoal. I think it has done wonders for this cabinet pudding.
Not that the pudding is not worthy in itself. Cabinet pudding is a traditional English dessert of baked custard studded with liquer soaked cake, sultanas and cherries. They came about as a way to use up left over stale cake.
But, what is it with the English and stale baked goods? There seem to be endless traditional recipes for using up old cake and bread, which suggests that they were constantly having to deal with the stuff - trifle, bread and butter pudding, summer puddings, stuffing, bread sauce. It says good things about their thriftiness, but you would have thought that they would have learned to regulate the quantity of their baking at some point or other. Oh dear Henry, those ten loaves of bread and five cakes I baked yesterday are just sitting there going to waste, whatever shall I do with them?
Anyway, back to these puddings. They are very simple, very quick and quite delicious. Just the thing when you are caught out for a dessert and you just happen to have some stale cake knocking about :} I think you could add any number of flavourings - maybe some ginger, some mixed peel, some cinnamon and nutmeg. I think they would be very adaptable. I used brandy rather than kirsch. And I didn't use quite the quantities of cherries, currants and sultanas outlined in the recipe. I think it is a bit much, but I have included the proportions from the printed recipe here. It's a question of personal taste.
This recipe is by the way, from Challenge Book #26 in the KJ wants a Kitchen Aid Challenge - Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection Desserts. My Mum gave me this book a few years back. She also bought a copy for herself and for my sister. None of us have ever made anything from it until now. A bit of a travesty really. I should make better use of such gifts.
(adapted from Home Collection Desserts)
100gm sponge cake
1 tbspn glace cherries, chopped
2 tbspn currants
3 tbspn sultanas
3 tspn kirsch
1 1/2 tbspn caster sugar
1/2 tspn vanilla
exra caster sugar
Lighly grease four 160ml moulds or ramekins with softened butter. Coat with the extra caster sugar.
Cut the sponge into small cubes and mix in a bowl with the cherries, sultanas and currants. Pour over the kirsch, toss and leave to soak for a few minutes. Divice the cake and fruit mixture between the moulds.
Beat the eggs lightly and whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Warm the milk to just below boiling point. Whisk the egg mixture and as you do so, slowly pour in the milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Stir until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Half fill a baking or ovenproof dish with water and place the moulds inside. Gently pour the custard into each of the moulds.
Bake for 1 hour in a 150C oven or until puddings are just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out. Serve with custard or cream.