Being British, I probably should have made a steamed pudding before. I did have it on my to-bake list but it didn't get crossed off until it became April's challenge for the Daring Bakers. Conversely, I wanted to make it before I came back to Britain, and as a result, I couldn't find the suet we were asked to use if possible. Instead, I adapted two butter based recipes for my purposes...
Looking at all the treacle and golden syrup puddings, I decided that it was a shame that honey didn't seem to be used (I'm quite sure that people used to make - and still do make - honey steamed puddings, but I couldn't find a recipe).
As a result I decided that I should use up one of the little pots of swiss honey we buy each summer at the market. They have an uncanny ability to split slightly and cause a small flood of honey in the cupboard, which meant that the pot of Acacia honey had been sitting in my mum's special hot chocolate mug for several months. To free her mug and to create an excuse to buy some more this summer, I used the remainder of that pot up. We still have several nearly dead ones that we don't have the heart to throw out, as you can see above.
To complement this gorgeous honey flavour, I decided to add soaked dried cranberries for a bit of a sharp kick and some lovely colour. For the first time it seems that they have started stocking dried cranberries in the supermarket at home (YES, cranberry sauce with the turkey at Christmas!) and so I wanted to try baking with them. Before I used them, I soaked them overnight in some of the honey and the juice of an orange.
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.
I then added some of the cranberry soaking juice to an additional few tablespoons of honey in the bottom of my pudding bowl. For the pudding itself I made the butter based pudding then added the cranberries and some orange rind and steamed it in Mum's big old le creuset vegetable steamer.
I served my pudding with an orange infused custard, which was lovely. I think mine somehow sunk when I had a peek to see if it was done with about 15 minutes to go - it wasn't done and when it was, it was pretty solid instead of spongey. The flavours were nice but I think I should probably try a different recipe another time.