March is a culinary half-way house. And this past weekend on the east coast of the US, we were reminded that winter is a long-term commitment. While some of you in more in more sun-baked climes are perhaps already thinking of spring shoots, the rest of us are still focused on warm stews and cozy desserts in this liminal space between February and April. With the many inches I’m turned on by here in Boston, I’m dishing up a few more recipes from Eat Feed Autumn Winter: 30 Ways to Celebrate When the Mercury Drops
If you’re new to British style steamed puddings, check out the explanation following the recipe. Once you try it, I promise you’ll find this much more lenient way of making desserts ingenious when you want a hot final course without having to so carefully time the meal.
CHOCOLATE CHIP STEAMED PUDDING
This is like a giant, soft, hot chocolate chip cookie. And because of the cooking techniques, you can sit and enjoy your company while the dessert stays warm and gooey up until the moment of serving.
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in ½ the flour mixture. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the milk. Follow with the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon into a 6 -cup buttered mold. Steam for 2 hours.
Let sit for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Serve warm. If you have leftovers, refrigerate them and reheat slices in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until soft and warm again.
From the sidebar “Steaming a Pudding”
One of the reasons steamed puddings are hard for Americans to understand is that the British just don’t have the same kind of precise directions we are used to in our desserts. The steaming method allows for culinary negligence and for you to pay attention to other things. It also allows you to use the oven for the main course while still delivering a hot dessert to the table. In its very name, steaming means that the pudding doesn’t burn or dry out as it would in the oven.To steam a pudding, you need to have a large stockpot that will hold the pudding basin and a steaming rack. I place one of those metal foldable steaming baskets in the bottom of my largest soup pot and then place the pudding mold, which has its own lid, on top. Then pour water halfway up the side of the pudding mold and place the lid on the stockpot. Keep the water at a simmer for the length of the cooking time. Without a pudding mold, use a pudding bowl. Butter a large piece of aluminum foil and fold to make a pleat. Cover pudding bowl and use kitchen twine to tie around the outer rim. Steam just as you would with a pudding mold.