Sunday, 3 November 2013

Treats for the Cheats!

Budino Inglese Sbrigativo con Mela & melograno
Cheats Treacle Pudding with Apple & Pomegranate

I didn't grow up with desserts like treacle pudding in England- being Sicilian, this was not one of the foods that showed up on my plate other than in school dinners. But even then, this and the other English steamed puddings always seemed so delicious and decadent to me- especially when covered in rich vanilla custard...mmm!

And of course they ARE decadent, with lots of butter, sugar and in the case of treacle pudding, which is basically a steamed ginger cake, a topping of golden syrup which soaks into it to make it sticky and gooey... and pretty damned good!

Of course that is the kind of decadence that I steer clear of nowadays- not for me the excessive sugar and butter, tasty as it is... I always opt for a healthier option. Because there always is a healthier option! Even with this kind of treat! 

Now be honest- don't the pictures here look good and yummy and rich and delicious? Well they are. And take a look below at the picture of the basic ingredients to making this... if I were to tell you that an egg and a few spoonfuls of yogurt would transform just 6 little slices of this simple ginger breakfast cake, you probably wouldn't believe me would you? Ain't cooking great? :-)

To make this yummy, sticky baked pudding, I of course turned on the oven to get it warm and then got busy, cracking an egg and whisking up the white in one bowl 
and the yolk, together with 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt in another. I added a teaspoon of baking powder to the yogurt/yolk mix, a little squeeze of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of cinnamon for some extra spice.

I then cut 6 slices of the ginger breakfast loaf- which is not much at all- you know how small these things are, but it will be plenty and cut them into cubes, which I then stirred into the yogurt. The cake soon soaks up the yogurt and starts to dissolve a little... there is something about the way those cakes are made, with all that honey, which does that- and that was my whole inspiration in making this in the first place, as the consistency is yummy and icky in the best possible way!

In the meantime, I peeled a small apple and then using the same peeler, went on to peel the actual apple into thin shreds, which of course cook/bake very quickly but also have a lovely smooth consistency, I added them into the cake/yogurt mix, along with the fluffy egg white and stirred everything together. It might sound unlikely, but the whole thing comes together and becomes a smooth and unctuous new batter- you couldn't make it better fresh! and no way would you do it without much more butter and sugar- this is good, fun stuff!

Last but not least, I stirred in the pomegranate- about a half of a small one is plenty for this sized pudding, which yields 4 small but rich portions. I stirred the pomegranate in well and then poured the mix into a baking dish, which I lined with paper and then sprinkled a few more pomegranate seeds on top to make it prettier.

All that needed to happen now was for it to bake for 25-30 minutes, at 300°, until the top had become lightly crusty. A nice scoop of this is as much decadence as anyone needs and it is also, relatively guilt-free too... and so pretty, it is even nice enough to serve up after Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner I think... How about you? ;-)

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