Steamed vanilla sponge with butterscotch sauce & custard

Steamed vanilla sponge with butterscotch sauce & custard

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs

More effort

Serves 4
Finish Sunday lunch with John Torode's indulgent and nostalgic steamed pud

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1308
  • fat75g
  • saturates43g
  • carbs148g
  • sugars98g
  • fibre2g
  • protein18g
  • salt1.47g
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    For the sponge

    • 250g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 250g caster sugar
    • 4 eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 250g flour



      Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

    • 1 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 50ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    For the custard

    • 250ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • 2 egg yolks
    • 25g caster sugar
    • 2 tsp cornflour
    • few drops vanilla extract

    For the butterscotch sauce

    • 75g caster sugar
    • 25g butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 50ml double cream


    1. Butter a 1.5-litre pudding basin. To make the sponge, cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition, then add the vanilla extract.

    2. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold into the sponge mixture, ensuring there are no lumps of flour remaining. Finally, stir the milk into the mixture.

    3. Fill the basin with the sponge mixture and cover with a double layer of buttered foil and baking parchment, 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 2 hrs until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

    4. To make the custard, bring the milk to the boil. In a bowl, beat together the yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Pour the scalded milk over the egg mix and beat well. Return to the pan and place over a low heat, stirring for a few mins until the mix begins to thicken. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

    5. For the butterscotch sauce, dissolve the sugar with 2 tbsp water over a low heat. Bring to the boil; do not stir. When the sugar has turned into a dark, golden caramel, whisk in the butter. Remove from the heat and stir the cream through.

    6. When the sponge is cooked, turn out onto a plate, drizzle with the butterscotch sauce and serve with the custard.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    18th Oct, 2016
    The butterscotch sauce was great but the sponge was absolutely awful so I'll stick to my own steamed sponge recipe in future and use the sauce to ring the changes! I've been making "proper" custard, using a similar recipe, for years and find that a little cornflour prevents lots of sauces from curdling/separating while cooking. The custard is wonderful in trifle!
    15th Dec, 2013
    I've never made a steamed pudding before, does adding suet give it the traditional taste or does it not matter? I like the pudding itself in steamed puddings but not the sauces that most put on it prior to steaming. I'd rather have plain pudding with custard, no fruit, treacle, golden syrup (yuck, its like eating a bag of sugar).
    30th Mar, 2013
    Made it with s/r flour on several occasions and it's turned out superb. Delicious and light, a great crowd pleaser that tastes even better with cream poured over as well.
    11th Nov, 2012
    This I would love, the calories I wouldn't so sadly I'm giving this a miss. Such hardship!
    4th Dec, 2011
    Butterscotch sauce is great. Sadly the pudding our hosts had made hadn't cooked after two hours but a hot oven fixed it. Quantities seemed odd. The custard and sauce were spot on for four but we only needed about half of the pudding part - still, that reduced the calories. You could certainly tell you'd been at the sugar afterwards! I shall be stealing the sauce for sticky toffee pudding purposes.
    12th Nov, 2011
    Are those calories correct? Crikey !!!
    11th Nov, 2011
    Surely as there is baking powder in this recipe then the flour will be plain !!!
    11th Nov, 2011
    Jerseyboy - this is going to be self raising flour and not plain flour.
    11th Nov, 2011
    I'm going to try it with S/R once I've worked out the parchment/foil thing!
    11th Nov, 2011
    Hi Jerseyboy,as far as i know when it says flour they mean plain flour so give it a go and let me know how it turns out, it looks really good.


    27th Jan, 2020
    Could you cook this in a pressure cooker? I have an Instant Pot and would love to use it for this recipe....maybe 15 minutes on steam then 25 on pressure? What do you think? x
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