Light as air and deliciously sweet, these individual sponge puddings are comfort food to impress. For this recipe you will need four individual pudding moulds, a steamer and kitchen string.
For the puddings
90g/3¼oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
90g/3¼oz caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
2 lemons, juice and finely grated zest
115g/4oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp baking powder
1–2 tsp milk
For the custard
600ml/20fl oz full-fat milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
3 large free-range egg yolks
30g/1oz caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
For the lemon syrup
8 tbsp golden syrup
½ lemon, zest only
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Crack the eggs into a small jug and beat with a fork. Slowly add the eggs to the sugar and butter mixture, beating continuously. Add the zest, then sift in the flour and baking powder. Fold in to combine. Gently stir in 2½ tablespoons of lemon juice and the milk. Divide the batter evenly between the moulds.
Place a piece of baking paper over each mould, then lay a larger sheet of kitchen foil on top. Fold it over the edges of the bowl and tie in place using string. Half fill a steamer with boiling water and place the puddings on the steaming rack above. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
To make the custard, heat the milk, vanilla seeds and split vanilla pod in a medium saucepan until almost boiling. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour in a large bowl until pale and thickened. Remove the vanilla pod and slowly pour the milk onto the egg mixture whisking all the time. Strain through a sieve into a clean pan and cook over a gentle heat stirring continuously until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
To make the syrup, put the golden syrup, lemon zest and juice into a saucepan. Place over a low heat to warm through. Remove the puddings and let them sit for 5 minutes before turning out onto serving plates. Pour over the syrup and serve with custard alongside.
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Source: BBC FOODS