Tuesday, 25 September 2012

birthday syrup sponge



... I wish I could say that i've woken up bright-eyed and bushy tailed after our mammoth weekend but I shan't lie to you dear reader... I am tired and more than a little emotional... it was a lovely weekend and the wedding was beautiful and with our friends deeply ensconced in their Californian honeymoon, our best men speech now becoming something of legend and our birthday's over, it's time to get back to a little normality and on with life as we know it...

... truth be told i'm not really holding it together as best I should... recently I was foolish enough to be lured into entering a really stupid new TV food competition... terms and conditions prevent me from being able to talk about it but let's just say it wasn't a happy experience and has left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth...

... anyone who follows my rantings on twitter will know I have thought for quite a while that british television is filled with a lot of rubbish food stuff... it feels a little bit like the early nineties when we had a rash of very cheap 'home improvement' style shows... they became a bit of a joke and eventually and mercifully left us alone... the next television fad to come along was food... of course it had always been there with some classic and very good shows but very soon it all became about the 'reality competition'... basically every show became a re-hash of America's Next Top Model / X Factor / The Apprentice / Matserchef... but with each imitation the quality became poorer... I have even been on a few of the dreadful ones myself... caught up in the eddies of celebrity and my 30 seconds...

... but I guess what this experience has taught me is that the time has come to put the value back into my passion... time to stop being blinded by the glitter thrown in my eyes and stop doing the dreadfully naff TV shows... time to be more selective about reviewing the stuff I get sent every two seconds and time to get back to what I do best... cooking good food and writing well about it...

... I apologise if this all comes across as a 'pity me rant' but as all good food bloggers will know - this is hard work and I care very much about what I do... plus I really am a little tired and emotional.


birthday syrup sponge
The Viking and I share a birthday, which was yesterday and when we came home all I wanted was the most comforting food I could make... this also happens to be his favourite pudding...

4 tablespoons golden syrup (or treacle or maple syrup or even honey)
3oz self raising flour
3oz softened butter
2 medium eggs
3oz soft brown sugar

I used a 1pint pudding basin but this recipe can easily be doubled to accommodate a bigger basin, which needs to be buttered

- place one tablespoon of syrup in the bottom of the basin

- place the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and beat together well until light and smooth

- pour into the pudding basin and then take a sheet of baking paper and foil, fold a pleat in the centre and place it foil side up onto the pudding

- wrap tightly and steam gently for two hours - you may need to check on the water after the first hour

- traditionally this is served with custard but I like it warm with cold cream

eat and of course, enjoy!

39 comments:

  1. It looks delicious! I hope you cheer up soon - I am very wary about TV.

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  2. Oh dear. I thought of your happy birthday while writing about cake yesterday. I hope that alone gives you a wee smile... another blogger, inspired to take part in blogging alongside you. Lots and lots of us love what you do, whether its glittery or not is of no consequence to us, so long as you do it in your own unique style. Now, I wonder if I have golden syrup in the cupboard...

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  3. Hello my dear... I think it's a good thing to stop and reevaluate now and again, work out what is we really want to focus on, and realign what we're doing, if necessary. Sorry to hear you had some unpleasant experiences, hope you can put them behind soon.
    Can I vote for MORE CHICKEN THIGHS? You know I adore your thighs, Dom!

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  4. You're so right, there is so much junk on TV and some of it is the food equivalent of the 19th century freak show.
    Even if you got sucked into something you're not too proud of, we'll still love you !!

    This is the right kind of food to cheer anybody up, pure indulgence with maximum comfort. It looks yummy.

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  5. Shared birthdays! Seems unusual, but obviously fortuitous. On another topic: do you have a recipe for suet pudding? I haven't had it in decades since my grandmother passed (she made it every Christmas and New Year period). If you favor me with a reply, could you do so at scrout1944@msn.com?

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  6. Cheer up Dom...it's good to get it all off your chest...a trouble shared and all that...

    This really is comfort food...I've been looking at a tin of Tate and Lyle syrup in the kitchen recently and thinking about mum's syrup pudding...I think it's these chilly evenings...yours looks delicious and I'm sure will take all that bitter taste away.

    I'm still looking forward to seeing some of your cooking videos...I hope you do manage to do some soon...

    Happy belated birthday to you both.
    Debx

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  7. Hope you had it with custard!
    Happy happy cooking & birthdays
    Love mummy x

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  8. Sorry to hear about your recent experiences but it really doesn't matter when you cook and write so well. We all get caught up in the moment sometimes. Just put it behind you and keep cooking things like this gorgeous syrup sponge.
    Happy Belated Birthday ! xx

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  9. Happy Birthday to you both. I have always felt you should do a cookbook. Think of all the chicken thigh recipes you have developed. The teacakes and sponges. BTW, the birthday sponge looks delicious.

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  10. You have to go out into the world and test your wings to discover what it really is that you love to do. I am happy for you that you have found your passion or rediscovered it.

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  11. Happy Birthday to you both.

    Love a sponge pudding, haven't had one in ages

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  12. Cheer up, Dom. You are blessed with a job you enjoy, a lovely home, a loving relationship, and a loyal following of blog readers (amongst a lot more that I could list). TV and fame would be the icing on the cake, but icing on it's own is awfully sickly!

    When you can share a sticky syrup sponge for a joint birthday celebration, what more do you need?

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  13. Happy birthday to you both. I love the idea of syrup sponge instead of birthday cake, just looking at the photo of it makes me feel more cheerful on this cold, wet Tuesday so I hope it's working its magic on you too!

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  14. chins up!
    at least you're not wet!

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  15. Happy to have more of you back! That sort of fame-glitter just gets stuck in your teeth - not a good look! You should do some podcasts and make your own way - a book will follow!
    Ivan

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  16. Happy slightly belated birthday - lovely syrup sponge. Sorry to hear about your bad experience, what a shame - these things can be good for exposure but you really do have to put yourself out there and not mind basically being humiliated in order for some producer to get a bit if car-crash TV. You are an exceptionally talented writer and cook and your blog audience knows you for who you really are and what you are capable of. No publicity is bad publicity though, as they say, so there could be a silver lining....

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  17. It happens to us all dear Dom, but I agree, the onslaught of cooking shows is becoming insane even for an addict like me! Happy birthday, and I do hope this wee sponge has helped cheer you up a little. I'd be well pleased with this and a never ending pot of custard ... I am disappearing to my happy place now ;0)

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  18. Steamed syrup sponge is a good balm for a trouble soul! Plus, a slightly rubbish birthday this year sets a nice achievable standard for exceeding next year! As my Mum always told me (possibly slightly inappropriately to a 12 year old) "Don't let the ba****ds grind you down" x

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  19. Comfort Food par excellence - and very necessary by the sound of it! (I'm a custard person though, not cream...) Hope things settle down for you soon.

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  20. I love that your sticking to your guns Dom, keep writing with integrity we love it! Also I've just realised you have the same birthday as my husband, so birthday wishes from our house to yours!

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  21. Like Susan said, go or the ookbook! The sponge looks amazing! Oh, Happy 29th Birthday to you both! XO

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    1. That should have said "go for the Cookbook!" LOL!!!

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  22. First.. happy belated birthday to you and the Viking!! A this sponge is a fantastic way to feed the comfort need!!

    Second.. you are loved here.. always remember that. The people who truly matter in your life are what inspire you to do what you do.. and I trust that you are doing what you do because it's what YOU want for you.. xo

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  23. Happy belated birthday...and what better way to get back to cooking than with a syrup sponge...it's a simple classic that everyone loves! I suspect it does wonders after a hard weekend too! :-)

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  24. Oh I love these self saucing style puddings - and what better than to have it as a birthday treat. Rest up my man I am sure there are far more meaningful things ahead for you.

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  25. Hey! Happy Birthday, you guys! Let's look at this next year as one of self-fulillment on one's own terms ... like Miss Magnolia says, " 'Rest up' ... and take stock of life and make your own plan." I have every confidence in you, after reading your posts for all this time ... you're a force, Dom, to be reckoned with! Cheers!

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    1. I second Susan! (Susan, you are so cool!) glitter is very pretty but it's a bitch to clean up... We all love you just the way you are Dom xx

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  26. Dom, you could never be naff and I haven't noticed any lack of quality in your cooking, baking or writing. Keep doing what you do, I'm sure you feel much better after that stonking great pudding. Just what you need after your exciting weekend.

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  27. Oh and Happy Birthday to you both XX

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  28. I absolutely agree about the state of TV cookery - but I suppose I shouldn't really pass comment since I never watch any reality TV or talent shows. (Obviously I'd make an exception for any show with you in it). I find cooking a positive and cooperative activity and constantly turning it into a competition is depressing. This syrup sponge is a great way to get back to basics.

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  29. Happy birthday again Dom and to the Viking too.....glad me wee message cheered you up on the day! Now listen to me, I have been there, was on a TV show 3 years ago, and I felt just the same as you......but here's the thing, we are bigger than them, we, as in those who attend these programmes, are the programmes and without us there would be not show.......however, I know what you mean, I will NEVER be lured in to one again, and you are BIGGER and much BETTER then than, and you are not naff......you are a great writer, a wonderful person and you cook great stuff, that's why we all love you here! So, pick up your woes, pack them away and get

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  30. Back to what you do best, cooking syrup sponges for me for one thing, and writing your lovely recipes and posts! Love you lots, Karen xxx

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  31. Sorry about typos, on new iPad and I am all over the bloody shop!

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  32. First of all, happy belated birthday to you and The Viking! The birthday syrup sponge looks utterly gorgeous and just my kind of comfort food.
    Sorry to hear about your experience. You are awesome Dom and sooner or later I am sure you'll find the right platform for your world domination :)

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  33. It's very hard getting the right balance Dom, but you have an excellent blog and a big fan base - don't forget it.

    Most TV is drivel as far as I can make out, never mind the food programmes. Hopefully, you're wonderful sponge bought you back down to earth - in a good way.

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  34. Being from the UK (London), I have to say we do have an awful lot of dreadful 'audience participation' cookery programmes, but we also have some tremendous cookery series, which maybe dont get to the US, but they far outweigh the rubbish ones.

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  35. Awww Dom . . . I suspect I know which show you are talking about and if it is any consolation, it isn't about you! The show I am thinking about promotes itself as being about good cooking and real people but definitely is not . . . freaks and geeks, I'm afraid. Kooks rather than cooks - I think you have had a really lucky escape :)

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  36. Have just come across this via the Ball. You're not allowed to talk about it?? That's a bit steep isn't it??

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  37. A very happy but belated birthday Dom- I'm just catching up on several weeks of wonderful Belleau Kitchen writing and recipes. I too was very sorry to hear about your experiences Dom, you are such a super star and an inspiration, I do hope all the lovely messages above from your many, many fans have helped? xx

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