Firstly, let me apologise for my 2 month absence. I’ve honestly not been inspired to post as much lately.
However, why throw in the towel? This isn’t Bake Off or MasterChef. Not everything has to re-invent the wheel or be worthy to be the top trending topic. I am a home cook first and foremost, and I started this blog to appeal to other home cooks. Anyway, I’ve pontificated enough and onto the recipe.
Snobs will carp, I’m sure, because this recipe is cooked in a microwave. Yes. The slovenly’s best kitchen friend. I can make a sponge pudding the ‘proper way’. But they can also be made perfectly acceptable via nuking. And you can have a home made, classic British dessert on the table in less than 10 minutes. And you don’t have to open one of those flat Heinz tins or raid the chiller cabinet. Chances are you’ll have all the ingredients in.
Sponge puddings are seen as dowdy these days. A hangover from the 1950s school dinners. Dull. Bland. Full of sugar and cheap jam that barely contains any fruit. They’ve been shunned by the Bake Off brigade and haven’t even been subject to the trendy 2010s baking revival with new, hipster flavours. But like other British baking classics that I’ve written about, why not? Made well, they can be fantastic. Yes, even in the microwave. It’s still homemade. And the harried midweek cook can have a proper dessert on the table in the time taken to brew a cup of tea, or to heat up a shop bought one – why wouldn’t you?
The closest thing to this that’s become popular over the past few years are mug cakes, which is along the same lines really.
You can of course use any jam you like for this, preferably one of decent quality; (I was lucky enough to have some home made stuff courtesy of my partner’s mother) , no nasty cheap ‘mixed fruit’ sugar bombs here! Or, you could forsake it altogether and replace 1-2 tbsp of the flour with cocoa to make a chocolate pud (though I’d recommend using dark brown sugar in place of the caster and maybe put chocolate chips in the mix too).
You will need a medium sized plastic pudding basin, and the sponge is made using the all-in-one method, so no need to get out the mixer. If you’re using butter, make sure it’s soft, but margarine or any spread that states ‘suitable for baking’ on the tub is absolutely fine – in fact, here, it’s recommended for speed as no softening required. Easy, quick, tasty and homemade.
Strawberry Jam Sponge Pudding
1 large egg
2 oz caster sugar
2 oz butter/margarine
2 oz self raising flour
Splash vanilla extract – NO synthetic essence please.
1 dessertspoon good quality strawberry jam
- Place the jam in the bottom of a medium sized plastic pudding basin (the kind left from a bought Christmas pudding that most households use for microwaving things in).
- In another bowl, whisk together the egg, margarine, sugar, flour together until smooth. Add milk to loosen it to a soft dropping consistency if it behaves impossibly.
- Spoon and scrape onto the jam and level the top.
- Place in microwave and heat at full power for 5 minutes (for an 800W unit – check your oven and adjust accordingly). A cake tester should come out clean.
- Upend onto a plate or saucer – it should come out easily without any need to have greased the basin, be aware the jam will be volcanically hot -and serve as is or with cream or Greek yoghurt.