Baking Heaven

PUDDING HEAVEN

Quick & easy maple sponge pudding

MAKES 4-6

100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
3-4 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably golden colour for its delicate taste)
50g (1¾oz) maple sugar
100g (3½oz) self-raising flour
2 large free-range eggs
2 tbsp whole milk

1 Grease a 1 litre (1¾pts) microwavable pudding basin/bowl with butter and add 3-4 tbsp maple syrup to the base.

2 In a separate bowl, beat the butter and maple sugar together until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, milk and flour and mix well together.

3 Pour the mix into the pudding bowl, on top of the syrup. Level it out using the back of a spoon.

4 Place the pudding bowl on a heatproof plate without a lid, then heat in the microwave for 6 minutes. Leave to stand for 1-2 minutes before serving. Cover with a plate, turn upside down, then carefully transfer onto your serving plate.

5 Drizzle more maple syrup if desired and serve with clotted cream, ice cream or hot custard

Chocolate, cardamom and ginger pots

40g (1½oz) dark muscovado sugar
6 large free-range egg yolks
4 cardamom pods
100ml (3½floz) pure maple syrup (preferably golden colour for its delicate flavour)
500ml (18floz) double cream
100ml (3½oz) whole milk
200g (7oz) dark Belgian cooking chocolate, chopped
75g (2¾oz) stem ginger, drained
1 tbsp cocoa powder, for dusting
50g (1¾oz) crystallised ginger pieces, to serve

1 Put the sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined, thickened and airy. You can also do this in a large bowl with an electric whisk or by hand, if you wish.

2 Bash the cardamom pods to break the green outer shell; discard the shells and save the seeds. Coarsely grind the seeds using a pestle and mortar, then place in a saucepan with the cream, milk, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Slowly bring the mixture to a simmer.

3 Remove the pan from the heat, then tip in the chocolate and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes. Stir until the chocolate has melted.

4 Pour the hot chocolate cream onto the yolks and sugar, whisking vigorously until smooth.

5 Divide the stem ginger between 10 small glasses or espresso cups and carefully pour or ladle the chocolate mixture over the top. Cover and chill for 4 hours, then dust with cocoa and scatter over the ginger.

Blueberry clafoutis

SERVES 6

300g (10½oz) blueberries
juice and finely grated zest of ½ a lemon
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 large knob of butter, melted, plus a little extra for greasing
1 tbsp unrefined granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
50g (1¾oz) plain flour
75g (2½oz) unrefined caster sugar a pinch of fine sea salt
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
275ml (9½floz) whole milk

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

2 Place the blueberries in a bowl with the lemon juice and zest and the thyme leaves. Crush a few through your hands to get the juices flowing.

Grease a 24cm (9½in) round cake tin or baking dish with a little butter. Scatter over the tablespoon of granulated sugar and give the

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