Gingerbread Puddings

More recipes from a hundred and forty years ago, from ‘A. H. E.,’ who wrote ‘I have tested them all and found them excellent’ . I do love ginger, and this treacly ginger pudding does sound very nice, especially for the sort of very cold day we have had today. However, our cold day is nothing compared to what is happening in Russia and Siberia at the moment. There was no sunshine at all In Moscow in the month of December – not like in the Arctic circle where there is no sunlight because there is no sun, in Moscow the snow clouds covered the sky for the entire month… apart from a brief six minutes. It was -7°C in Moscow –  in Yakutia, in the far east, it was below -60C. This vast region, whose capital is Yakutsk  3,045 miles  east of Moscow and yesterday the temperature never crawled above minus fifty, I can’t even imagine that!

I would guess in Yakutia a great big helping of ginger pudding (with extra ginger, crystallised ginger, preserved ginger and ginger wine) with pints of custard, would go down a treat!

Gingerbread Puddings

  • ½ lb. bread crumbs
  • ½ lb. chopped suet
  • 2 teaspoonful ground ginger ( I would double it and add extra as above – a dash of chilli might be nice too!)
  • 1 teacup of treakle
  • 1 teacupful of moist sugar
  • 2 eggs
  1. mix altogether, and put into a well buttered basin
  2. … and boil three hours

What could be more simple! The recipe takes it for granted that you would know to put folded butter paper across the top of the mixture, cover with foil or a cloth and tie securely! The spelling of treakle is not my mistake, it’s as it is in the article!

In the same article, A.H.E. adds a recipe for corn cake (also shaddock jam which I shared yesterday)

Good Corn Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1½ cup corn flour
  • ½ teaspoonful of baking powder
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • … and a piece of butter about the size of an egg
  1.  mix the flour and meal
  2. rub in butter
  3. add the sugar and soda
  4. whisk eggs and with milk
  5. make a batter as thick as pound cake
  6. bake in a slack oven
  7. add currants and lemon peel, if liked, but excellent without sugar or currants

Don’t you love the amount of butter you need – about the size of an egg – small, medium or large egg? Maybe in the 1870’s eggs were pretty much all the same size! The instructions also rely on you knowing how to make a pound cake, and knowing how thick the batter of it would be! I don’t suppose in a pound cake recipe it says ‘make a batter as thick as pound cake?’ A slack oven is a cooling oven – I’m not sure we could replicate that with modern cookers unless you have an Aga, so i think I would bake it at the all-purpose 180° C, 370° F, gas mark 4

In case you want to find out about shaddocks and shaddock jam – look here:

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