Little citrus sponges and custard
Skill level: Bit of effort
Channel 4 show Cookery School, fronted by Gizzi Erskine and Richard Corrigan, teaches you how to cook like a pro. These fruity little sponges are easy to make and deliciously warming on a cold day
- 50g raisins
- 5 tablespoons sherry
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 6 tablespoons lemon marmalade
- 2 teaspoons finely grated unwaxed lemon zest
- 115g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra
- to grease the moulds
- 115g light muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 115g self-raising flour, sifted, plus extra to dust the moulds
- 250ml double cream
- 150ml whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split down the middle
- 3 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
When making the custard, make sure to keep stirring the mixture and cook it over a low heat, otherwise you will end up with scrambled eggs.
- To make the puddings, first soak the raisins in the sherry for about 5 minutes, or until they become plump. Then butter and flour 4 x 150ml ramekins or moulds. Cut out circles of greaseproof paper big enough to line the bottom of each mould and place in the buttered moulds.
- Mix together the golden syrup, 3 tablespoons of the lemon marmalade, lemon zest and soaked raisins. Spoon evenly into the bottom of each mould.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale in colour with a creamy consistency. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one is added to the mixture. Gently fold in the flour, then the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon marmalade and the sherry from the raisins.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the moulds so they are about two thirds full. Cover each mould with cling film or a buttered square of foil and secure with butcher’s string.
- To steam the puddings, use a saucepan big enough to hold all the moulds on a plate. Place an upturned empty ramekin or small heatproof bowl inside the saucepan, then pour in 2½cm of water. Place a heatproof plate on top of the ramekin and put the moulds on it. Cover the saucepan with its lid and steam over a low heat for 30–40 minutes. To check the puddings are cooked, insert a skewer into the middle of one of them. It should come out clean.
- While the puddings are cooking, make the custard. Pour the cream and milk into a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the halved vanilla pod and add the seeds and pod to the pan. Warm through over a low to medium heat but do not boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Stir in a little of the hot vanilla cream to loosen the mixture, then pour the eggs and sugar into the pan containing the rest of the cream and milk.
- Return the saucepan to a low heat and cook, stirring all the time, until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and pour the contents into a bowl or jug to stop it overcooking – cover with cling film to stop a skin forming.
- Turn the puddings out of their moulds on to individual plates, and serve with the custard.