Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding

Theme 13: Dessert

Cookbook: The Hairy Biker’s Best Loved Recipes. Mum’s still know best.

Recipe: Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding

I love puddings.  Especially if it’s home made and eaten on a cold, wet, Winter night.  I love to pour extra syrup and large dollops of home made custard on top.  Not only delicious but also warming and comforting.

The original recipe called for lemon zest but at the time I wanted to make it, I only had mandarins.  It was a great substitute.  I think you can use any citrus fruit you like.


(serves 6)

  • 100g golden syrup plus an extra 4-5 tbs for serving
  • 175g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • grated zest of 1 mandarin
  • 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  1. Butter the inside of a 1.2 litre pudding basin.
  2. Place the basin on a set of scales ad spoon 50g of the golden syrup into the base. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining 50g of golden syrup, butter, sugar and mandarin zest. Beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk in half of the beaten eggs then half of the flour. Then whisk in the remaining eggs and then finally the rest of the flour.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and cover with the lid.  If your basin doesn’t have a lid, use a baking paper with a pleat in the middle.  Then cover with foil with a pleat also. Tie in place with string. You can create a handle by tying excess string across the top of the basin. This will make it easier to lift the pudding once it is cooked.
  6. Place an upturned heatproof sauce in the large, deep saucepan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the basin. Cover the saucepan with a tight lid and place over a low heat.
  7. Steam in gently simmering water for about 1hour and 45minutes, adding more water, if needed.
  8. When the pudding is cooked, turn off the heat and carefully lift the basin from the water and leave to stand for 5minutes
  9. Remove the lid and loosen the sides of the pudding with a knife and invert onto a serving plate.
  10. Spoon over extra syrup and serve generous servings with custard.


You can check out my previous posts for the Cook Book Challenge this year here.

Bon Appetite,


Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetable Casserole

Theme 14: Hearty

Cookbook: Australian Women’s Weekly, Slow Cooker

Recipe: Simple beef and vegetable casserole

I have only recently bought my first slow cooker.  I was quite excited as I’ve heard friends say they love it and cook their dinners in it on busy days.

Because this dish takes so long to cook, it’s best to quickly brown the meat and sauté the vegetables before throwing into the slow cooker in the morning before heading out for the day.

I, too have come to love my slow cooker.  I have used it for my daughter’s birthday family dinner.  It was one less dish I had to fiddle and fuss over during the day.

I have read that desserts and cakes can be made in the slow cooker too.  I am curious.  I will definitely give those a try.


  • 1.2kg beef chuck  steak, cubed
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 2 medium onions cut into thick wedges
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped coarsely
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped coarsely
  • 3 cloves  garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 400g can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef  stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Coat the beef in flour, shake off excess and fry in batches in a large frying pan.
  2. When browned, transfer to a slow cooker
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan, cook the onion, carrot, celery and potatoes.  Keep stirring until the onions soften
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further minute.  Transfer to the slow cooker
  5. To the slow cooker, add the bay leaves, canned tomatoes and stock.  Stir.
  6. Cook, covered for 8 hours on low.
  7. For comfort, best served with mashed potatoes and steam vegetables.

You can check out my previous post for the Cook Book Challenge this year here.

Bon Appetite,


Indian Rubbed Pork Chops

Theme 12: Spicy

Cookbook: Nigella Lawson, Kitchen

Recipe: Indian rubbed pork chops

I never used to like food with a lot of spice or heat until I met hubby.  He grew up with Indian grandparents so he was exposed to spices and curries at a young age. I began appreciating the complexities of the different spices as I was exposed to them more and more.  I now love all curries and all the spices that go in them.

This recipe originally is for lamp chops but it goes very well with pork.  I’ll try lamb next time.

Recipe: (serves 4 )

  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 4 pork chops
  • oil for frying
  1. Add the spices to a small shallow dish and mix well to combine.
  2. Dip the pork chops into the spice mixture and make sure it’s coated well on all sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the chosp for about 5-6 minutes a side depending on how thick it is.
  4. Serve with steamed vegetables or steamed rice

You can check out my previous post for the Cook Book Challenge this year here.

Bon Appetite,


Crème Brulee

Theme 11: Cup

Cookbook: Australian Women’s Weekly, Bake

Recipe: Crème Brulee

I wanted to make a crème brulee just so I can use my blow torch 🙂 When I first got it many years ago, I used it all the time but somehow, as time went by, the excitment dropped a little, then I eventually forgot that I had it.  I have rekindled my love for it after discovering it in the back of my cupboard. The best thing about this dish is the lovely crunchy burnt sugar on top.  The texture and flavour breaks up all that  creamy and silkiness of the custard.


  • 1 tsp of vanilla paste
  • 750ml thickened cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 40g raw caster sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180degC (or 160degC fanforced)
  2. Grease six 1/2 cup capacity cups
  3. In a small saucepan, add the vanilla paste to the cream, simmer on a low heat. Do not boil.
  4. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and caster sugar.
  5. Gradually, whisk in the hot cream.
  6. Set the bowl over a pot of simmer water and stir for 10minutes or until it thickens (coats the back of a spoon)
  7. Pour the custard in the prepared dishes and bake in a bain marie for 20minutes
  8. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  9. When ready to serve, sprinkle some of the raw caster sugar on the top of the custard and use a blow torch to melt.  If you don’t have a blow torch, you can place under a grill.

Do you have a blowtorch?

Bon Appetite,