Milk Stout and Chocolate Steamed Pudding

From The Ethicurean Cookbook, this milk stout and chocolate steamed pudding recipe is a real winner. The dark cocoa is enhanced with the deep beer flavour.

Introduction

This recipe is a combination of two of our favourite things: milk stout and a British steamed pudding. When we first opened The Ethicurean, we drank Bristol Beer Factory’s chilled milk stout on the lawn overlooking the garden. It had the most remarkable balance of sweetness and roast malt that we had ever tasted. Since this boozy summer evening, ‘milk stout on the lawn’ has become shorthand for, ‘Hurry up, let’s go and have a beer.’

Milk stout was first brewed on the Bristol Beer Factory site in the 1900s and its recent revival was an excellent move. During the brewing process, unfermentable lactose sugar is added, giving the beer a residual sweetness.

This pudding, served with an inappropriate amount of double cream, should be regarded as a new British classic.

Serves 6

Ingredients

160ml Bristol Beer Factory’s milk stout
150g butter, cut into cubes
235g caster sugar
45g cocoa powder
160g plain flour
85ml soured cream
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Double cream, to serve

Essential kit

You will need a 1.2-litre pudding basin and a steamer basket.

Instructions

Place the milk stout and butter in a saucepan over the lowest possible heat and whisk until the butter has just melted. It is important not to overheat the mixture or the butter will split, resulting in an oily pudding. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Sift the cocoa powder and flour into the mixture in 2 lots, whisking thoroughly after each to blend well. Set aside.

Lightly whisk the soured cream, egg, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda together until combined. Add this to the stout and flour mixture and whisk briefly to incorporate once more.

Thoroughly grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with butter. Add the pudding mixture. Take a piece of foil large enough to cover the top of the basin generously, folding a thick pleat in the centre (this will allow the pudding to expand during steaming), and place it on the basin, tucking the edges firmly under the rim. Put the basin in a steamer basket and set it over a pan containing about 10cm boiling water. Cover and steam over a low heat for 2 hours, checking the water level every 30 minutes and topping up when necessary.

Remove the basin from the steamer and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Take off the foil, run a knife around the edge of the pudding, then turn it out on to a plate. You’ll need plenty of cream, as this pudding is seriously thirsty!

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