Ginger pudding in jars with plastic wrapping over them.
Ginger pudding with custard served in a white bowl and with a silver spoon.
Ginger pudding in jars with plastic wrapping over them.
Ginger pudding with custard served in a white bowl and with a silver spoon.

Ginger pudding with custard

Andrew McConnell is the executive chef and co-owner of Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc, Marion, Gimlet and Supernormal. He is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.

Puddings, and steamed puddings in particular, are not cooked that much anymore. The texture can scare people. Suet turns people off, too, and so I have left it out of this recipe. Puddings can also take longer to cook than other desserts, but I think they’re worth it.

The thing I grew up eating was roly-poly, which is a suet pudding spread with jam and rolled up. The other thing I remember as a kid is golden syrup dumplings. The dumplings are a simple batter made from flour, butter, eggs and milk. I use self-raising flour to make the dumplings lighter and a bit fluffy. Rolled into balls, they are simmered in golden syrup, water and butter. They cook quickly, in about 15 to 20 minutes. I bake them in the oven, fitted snugly into a pan. The other thing you can do with them is take the dumpling and push a little nugget of chocolate or a piece of banana into the centre before cooking.

This ginger pudding is a great and simple winter dessert that can be steamed as individual servings or as one large pudding. It calls for candied stem ginger as well as ground ginger to give it a bit of punch. The best candied ginger, I find, is available from Chinese grocers. It is a bit stronger. In this recipe, the ginger is diced and stirred into the mix. I suggest any leftover syrup be reserved and poured over the puddings once they are steamed.

The recipe is dead simple. Actually, even cooking the pudding a little longer than recommended can improve it. The flavour develops, as does the texture.

No sweet pudding is complete without custard. The traditional custard is made from a packet. However, I would suggest, for this, using raw ingredients: fresh vanilla beans and free-range eggs. If you are a traditionalist, I recommend Bird’s custard powder.

This recipe is from The Saturday Paper archive. Andrew McConnell is on leave.


Serves 8

Time: 25 minutes preparation + 30 minutes cooking

For the pudding

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 150g candied stem ginger, diced
  • syrup reserved from the jar of candied stem ginger

For the custard

  • 200ml cream
  • 200ml milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 3 yolks
  • 40g sugar
  1. Beat the sugars and butter in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated.
  2. Mix the spices and flour together and add to the batter in two parts, alternating with the milk. Lastly, stir through the diced ginger.
  3. Butter and flour eight dariole moulds and divide the pudding batter between them.
  4. Wrap the moulds tightly in cling film and then tinfoil.
  5. Place in a steamer and steam over a high heat for 25 minutes. (If you are making one large pudding, you will need to steam it for one hour.)
  6. Let them sit for five minutes before uncovering.
  7. To make the custard, warm the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a stainless-steel saucepan, to just under a simmer.
  8. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, then slowly whisk the hot cream into the mixture.
  9. Pour the custard back into the pot and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  10. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve.
  11. Serve the puddings as soon as you uncover them, with a jug of custard and any excess syrup from the candied ginger.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on June 24, 2023 as "And so it steams".

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