It's officially December now - not just a little bit of December (the first couple of days are always a bit 'might be, might not be') but properly, full-on December, and so I feel totally within my rights to start the 'IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS, TEE HEE HEE' business now. Bring on the cheesy music, lopsided paper chains and ridiculous hats! On with the carol-singing, Muppet movies and getting ready to go home! It's time for frantic shopping, ice-skating, and of course, roast dinners followed by hot butterscotch pudding and toffee ice-cream.
Because we're not total student stereotypes, my friends and I decided to have a roast dinner on Sunday afternoon to bring in December; I suspect we all sort of expected it to go horribly wrong, but -as I gleefully texted my mother afterwards- it was a great success (I never knew it was possible to roast so many things; chicken, carrots, parsnips, potatoes... I began writing out what we'd had but I was using the word 'roast' so many times it began to lose all meaning). I took charge of gravy, having watched my mum make it hundreds of times (her gravy is famous across the North-West), but upon stepping up to the oven I realised I'd never actually made it myself from scratch and began waving my wooden spoon in alarm, rifling through cupboards and hyperventilating into my saucepan. Miraculously it turned out well, but I'm not sure how it happened.
Something I had more confidence in was this pudding (like at home, I was elected to make dessert. Some things never change), which is the self-saucing kind with a cakey top and gooey bottom. There is pretty much no way a butterscotch pudding can go wrong.
Well, I mean, there is. You could put all the sugar in at once and then realised you were supposed to keep half of it aside to go on top, for example, which I certainly Did Not Do. But a bit of improvisation later and it doesn't really make much difference when you bring a steaming hot pudding to the table and people who were previously complaining they would never eat another bite start going, 'just a smaller piece... no, bigger than that... bigger than that... are we on rations or what?!'
Butterscotch Self-Saucing Pudding
Recipe found here.
200g (heaped 1 1/4c.) self-raising flour
100g butter, melted
125ml (1/2 c.) milk
4 tbs golden syrup
1 tbs cornflour
375ml (1 1/2 cups) boiling water
Double cream or ice cream, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 1.5 litre (6 cup) ovenproof dish. Combine 35g (1/4 cup) of the brown sugar and all of the flour in a bowl. Add the melted butter, egg, milk and 2 tbs of the golden syrup and stir until combined. Spoon into greased dish.
2. Combine the remaining brown sugar and cornflour. Sprinkle over the pudding mixture. Combine boiling water with the remaining 2 tbs of golden syrup. Pour over the top of the pudding mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (obviously this depends how deep you skewer it; the cake should be cooked but you want it to stay saucy. I wouldn't worry too much about it).
Five of us round the table; a pudding that serves six. Say hello to breakfast.