Steamed sponge puddings are my ideal dessert when the nights are chilly and drizzly or when I am simply in need of something comforting. Is there anything more nostalgic and comforting than a steaming hot sponge topped with sweet sticky jam and lashing of custard? It’s the food equivalent of a hug.
Raspberry jam or golden syrup are the classic childhood steamed sponges, but I’ve given mine a more modern twist by using Seville orange marmalade in place of the jam, while the sponge contains dark mucovado sugar, ginger and a little extra marmalade. This gives the sponge a deeper, almost burnt caramel flavour with just a hint of warming ginger which goes brilliantly with the bittersweet marmalade and prevents it being too sweet. Dousing it with a creamy fresh vanilla bean speckled crème anglaise (custard) really elevates this pud to a level almost deemed sophisticated, but you can of course serve it with the instant Birds custard (just like my mum used to) if you want full on nostalgia.
Grab yourself a spoon and a slice of steaming hot, lightly spiced sponge with its glossy sticky marmalade topping; pour over pools of creamy fragrant vanilla infused custard, snuggle into your favourite chair and enjoy!
I made this gluten free steamed marmalade sponge with crème anglaise (or custard!) for the recipe inspiration section of Wayfair. They challenged me to create a recipe using some of their amazing selection of cookery and bakery equipment to celebrate World Fair Trade Day on 9th May. There are now lots of fair-trade products available in the shops and this one makes use of fair-trade sugar and a jar of fair-trade marmalade, just look out for the Fair Trade symbol on packs. This symbol means the farmers are paid a fair price for their products
Next week is also the start of Coeliac Awareness week (11th – 17th May) another event close to my heart, so it’s a fitting recipe all round.
If marmalade is not your thing, you can replace this with the jam of your choice, or even lemon curd, golden syrup, mincemeat or chunks of fresh fruit. Get creative with the spices and flavours too by adding cinnamon, cocoa powder, chocolate chips or lemon zest to make it your own.
You can see the full recipe here.