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Use a small knob of butter to heavily grease a 1-litre pudding basin. In a small bowl, mix the golden syrup with the breadcrumbs and brandy, if using, then tip into the pudding basin.
Beat butter with sugar and zest until light and fluffy, then add eggs gradually. Fold in the flour, then finally add the milk.
Spoon the mix into the pudding basin. Cover with a double layer of buttered foil and baking paper, making a pleat in the centre to allow the pudding to rise. Tie the foil securely with string, then place in a steamer or large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the basin. Steam for 1½ hrs. Turn out onto a serving dish. Serve with lashings of clotted cream and a little extra golden syrup drizzled over if you wish.