This Golden Lemon & Rosemary Syrup Pudding is the stuff of cosy dinner party dreams. The old-fashioned English staple puddings – Queen of Puddings, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Arctic Roll, Eton Mess, Jam Roly-Poly – are all such chic choices for dessert now that vintage is well and truly in vogue. Though I was born just at the beginning of the 90s, I am and have always been a total devotee of the 60s; completely in love with the social movements, music, architecture, design and fashion of the time. And believe it or not, I’m now starting to fall in love with the food! Nothing pleases me more than throwing on a bell-sleeved mini-dress, spinning some early Led Zeppelin, and serving forth a classic, vintage British pudding. While I’m at it I might attempt a poorly executed beehive, and pretend that Mick and Keith are coming over for dinner – though my love for them transcends the decade of the 60s. Mick and Keith are timeless. The beauty of all these old-school puddings is how adaptable they are. A classic syrup pudding is delicious, but spruced up with lemon, and made complex with rosemary, it is elevated into a totally new experience. The rosemary adds it’s resiny warmth, and shares an almost sharp scent with the sprightly lemon zest and juice. Meanwhile, that peerless Brit ingredient, Golden Syrup, does it’s job of swathing the entire thing in smoky sweetness. Now, please don’t fret. I am well and truly aware that I am viewing my beloved 60s through Golden Syrup soaked glasses. I am aware that it wasn’t all roses, and that no internet means no iPads, no smart phones, and no Sugar Hit. But what is life without whimsy? And where better too get your whimsy than the psychedelic 60s, man? The stalwarts of the English pudding tradition are just the place to bring a little whimsy into your world. Spike your syrup sponge with unexpected rosemary. Why not scent your Eton Mess with rosewater? Or make your arctic roll groovy with rum-soaked sponge and butter-pecan ice-cream? The beauty of these desserts lies in their simplicity, and they are just waiting for a new lease on life. Aside from all the fun of the swinging sixties, this little pudding is a right ray of sunshine on any gloomy winter’s day. Lucky for me, the Brisbane Winter has been a ridiculously balmy 23C for the past week, and I have been basking in afternoon sunlight. It’s hard not to. My new house happens to have a little window box area, and I have positioned my chair just so that the sun beams through the window and right onto my face. There is absolutely nothing better than a ray of warm sunlight shining onto your face when your feet are freezing, and you have a hot cup of earl grey waiting on your chair arm. A stack of cookbooks at my side to flip through, and I’m in heaven. The only thing that could possibly be better is a visit from Mick and Keith. And a slice of this pudding.
Golden Lemon and Rosemary Syrup Pudding
INGREDIENTS: 1/3 cup golden syrup
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp light brown sugar
100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
2-3 tbsp milk Fill your kettle with water and put it on to boil. In a greased 3-cup (750ml) capacity pudding basin, combine the golden syrup, juice of 1/2 a lemon, brown sugar and salt. Stir until completely combined and set aside. To make the sponge, combine the butter, sugar, flour, lemon zest and rosemary and pulse until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved. Add the eggs, and remaining lemon juice, and whiz until combined. At this point the mixture will be very thick, add the milk a little at a time with the motor running until it is the texture of softly whipped cream, you may need slightly more or less milk. Pour the batter into the pudding basin, on top of the syrup, and cover with a double layer of foil, securing the foil tightly with a rubber band or string (rubber band is way easier). Place the pudding basin into a large stockpot, and fill with boiling water from the kettle halfway up the pudding basin. Be careful not to get water on top of the pudding, but a few splashes won’t kill it. Place the whole pot over a low heat, and simmer for 2 hours. Check it every 30 minutes or so, and top up with water if necessary. At the end of the 2 hours, remove the pan from the heat, and carefully lift the pudding basin out. Leave it to sit for 5 minutes before removing the foil, and turning it out on a lipped plate. Decorate with extra rosemary, if you wish, and serve with creme fraiche, ice cream, cream or the very British choice, custard.