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db: toffee apple suet puddings

April 27, 2010

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

(and oh, what a challenge it was!)

It has been all systems go here at onebitemore-central.

And when all systems are go, everything is almost bound to fall in a giant, fail-filled heap.

It started when I forgot to put sugar in the Bean’s birthday cake. Then it continued when I made 28 fennel flans for a cuh-razy blogger cook off, forgot to freeze my sorbet, and doubled a recipe that I possibly should have halved.

And, after all of that, came the daring bakers challenge.

“Crap!” I exclaimed at nobody in particular as I realised that the suet I bought was more blood than fat.

“CRAP!” flew through the air as my rendering efforts were stymied by potential lateness-for-soccer (resulting in bits of said suet flying through the air as they were shredded with a food processor).

“What the (goat!)” I yelled at nobody in particular as I pushed and prodded the lovely, supple, but oh-so-easily torn pastry into chinese tea cups.

And the VTB looked on in part-amusement and part-horror as I derided the suet, the animal that it came from, and the crazed nation that thought it would be a good idea to incorporate said ingredient into anything edible.

A pause when the challenge was completed.

“It is pretty…” said the Bean.

“It doesn’t taste as bad as you think, knowing what went into it…” said Mother-Bite-More, encouragingly.

“Much as I am mostly-British,” said the VTB, a couple of chews later “I do not think that the Britishness translated to my tastebuds.”

A pause.

“The caramel is nice though!”

And so went the story of this month’s daring baker’s challenge.

I will give you the recipe though, because with butter instead of suet and a glob of butter thrown into the mix before the pastry is sealed off and steamed, it may just be alright. For those who like a steamed pastry that is. And I know you’re out there.

toffee-apple suet pastries

You will need

for the pastry:

125g self raising flour
87g fat (butter / suet / lard)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100ml water

for the filling:

1-2 apples
1tsp cinnamon
120ml condensed milk
butter for globbing into the puddings

for the toffee:

1C white sugar
1/4 C water
pinch of cream of tartar (about 1/8 tsp)
1/2 tsp red food colouring

how to do it:

1. Crumble your fat into the flour & cinnamon sugar and rub together with your fingertips (or throw it into the food processor and whiz away!!)

2. Add the water a bit at a time until it forms a soft dough. Try not to overmix as the pastry will get tough.

3. Roll out the dough, cut it into rounds and use the dough to line four chinese tea cups that have been well (well!) greased.

4. Peel & chop your apples and toss the cubes in cinnamon. Split the mixture between the teacups and ladle condensed milk & a thumb-sized piece of butter into each teacup to fill in the gaps between the apple.

5. Using the rest of the pastry, roll lids onto the teacups and pinch to seal.

6. Get some greaseproof paper and pleat like you’re folding a fan. Stick it on top of each teacup as a lid and secure with string.

7. Place on a rack in a slow cooker half-filled and steam for 90mins – 2 hours.

8. When the puddings are done, tip them out onto a piece of greaseproof paper to cool.

9. To make the toffee, add sugar and water in a pan and stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Once it is dissolved, boil rapidly for ten seconds then add the cream of tartar and colouring.

10. Cook the sugar (no more stirring!) until it reaches hard crack stage and then dip the puddings in to coat.


  • #1
    April 28th, 2010

    Wow they certainly look amazing. I love looking at everyone’s variations – so unique.

  • #2
    April 28th, 2010

    Now this is the most unusual take on a sweet steamed pudding I have seen – superb creativity!!! And it seemed to have a mixed reaction that is to be expected I just love the photos and the final pudding apples are spectacular. Bravo bravo bravo on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    And rest assured I would of loved them. Audax

  • #3
    April 28th, 2010

    It may not have tasted great, but it sure does look amazing! Great job on showing creativity with a food that has a rather boring typical presentation!

  • #4
    April 28th, 2010

    […] db: toffee apple suet puddings | Sheryl Lee – onebitemore […]

  • #5
    April 28th, 2010

    Wow, this is the most creative approach I’ve seen so far. The pudding sticks look so beautiful! And I really enjoyed reading your story – I had to giggle a lot ;o).

  • #6
    April 28th, 2010

    These are a great idea and I’m sorry they didn’t come out as tasty as they looked! I played it safe and went with butter all along 😉

  • #7
    April 28th, 2010

    Ugh Shez, that is insanely cute! Really great idea, hehe it wouldn’t be a DB challenge without all the mishaps right? And argh I doubled a recipe for the cook off by accident too!

  • #8
    April 28th, 2010

    I think they look amazing Suze!

  • #9
    April 28th, 2010

    OMG these are so cute. The most creative take on the DB challenge this month I’ve seen so far. Well done!

  • #10
    April 28th, 2010

    It’s such a nice twist to the traditional pudding! Very nicely done, Shez.

  • #11
    April 28th, 2010

    These look fantastic!

  • #12
    April 28th, 2010

    Well, they look really gorgeous even if they don’t taste so good. I love the way you thought of the challenge.

  • #13
    April 28th, 2010

    these are amazingly cute! shame the recipe didn’t taste as great as they looked

  • #14
    April 28th, 2010

    Yayyy WTG! (I though I was the only one that used it heh) I think these look great and fat adds flavour! (but yeah leave out the blood)

  • #15
    April 29th, 2010

    These are uber-cute, and look like they’d be perfect for mother’s day! How did you ever come up with the idea?? I love reading your commentary, it gives so much life to the baking. Keep up the great bakes!

  • #16
    theVTB
    May 5th, 2010

    Further feedback on the toffee apple suet puddings … motherVTB liked everything about them. fatherVTB (an original Englishman) said “the little puddingy things were delicious. I don’t know why Sheryl dipped them in toffee though, I had to break it off”. He is clearly not the source of my sweet tooth 🙂

Shez