Valentine Warner's Steamed Butterscotch Pudding

"This fabulous pudding should lift your spirits through the coming mean months. I would suggest a good long walk afterwards."
Valentine Warner

Serves: 8


  • 225g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g dark muscavado sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 265g self-raising flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 orange, zest and segmented flesh
  • 100g walnut halves, roughly chopped

    for the sauce:

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
  • 2 tbsp whisky
  • 100ml double cream


1. Butter a 1.7 litre pudding basin and line the base with a small circle of baking parchment. Blitz the butter, sugars, flour, eggs and orange zest in a food processor, pulsing until smooth and thick. Stir in the orange segments and walnuts.

2. Spoon the batter into the prepared basin and smooth the surface. Cover with a large circle of baking parchment, making a pleat in the middle to allow for expansion. Cover the paper with a circle of foil, again with a pleat. Tie both in place with a long piece of string, creating a handle with the extra string to lift the pudding once it's cooked. 

3. Put the basin on an upturned heatproof saucer or trivet in a large pan and add enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and set over a medium heat. Steam in the gently simmering water for 2 hours, topping up with water if necessary.

4. About 30 minutes before you're ready to serve the pudding, make the sauce. Put the sugar in a pan and cover with 150ml cold water. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and simmer, without stirring, until the sugar caramelises and is a deep golden brown. 

5. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chilled butter, piece by piece (the caramel will splutter furiously, so take care), until the sauce is thick and smooth. Gradually whisk the whisky and cream into the mixture and return to the heat for 1-2 minutes until gently bubbling.

6. When the pudding is done, turn off the heat and lift the basin from the water. Stand for 5 minutes, then remove the string, foil and paper. Loosen the side of the pudding with a knife and invert onto a serving dish. Remove the lining paper and pour over a little of the butterscotch sauce. Serve the pudding in generous wedges with more butterscotch sauce.

Copyright © Valentine Warner 2012