Golden Syrup is a British triumph in the field of food.
Created in the 1880s, this thick and sticky amber-coloured treacle is like no other syrup there is. Far thicker than maple syrup, not at all as bitter as treacle or molasses, Golden Syrup really is unique in it’s rich, sweet flavour and texture.
My most favourite way to enjoy it is as a gooey layer atop a sponge pudding only now, I make it in my pressure cooker. I give you, my Instant Pot Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding.
Classically, a steamed pudding is cooked in a large pan of water on the stove top for several hours.
There’s something charming about hearing one putter about, as often the lid of a jam jar is used to lift the basin off the bottom of the saucepan and of course, as it cooks and releases the aroma of that sweet syrup, there’s nothing more homely.
But it does take a long time and you have to keep on topping up the water or your pan will burn if it all evaporates off. I think that’s something old school British home cooks have done once!
It had actually been quite some years since I’ve made a Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding but it was something I would make regularly growing up.
Now I am a certified overly-enthusiastic Instant Potter, I felt the need to experiment until I came up with the perfect ratio of ingredients and the best cooking method to make this nursery-food pudding in the IP.
Hungry Hubby and the nurses in work have been bombarded with many, many variations on the basic ingredients and combinations of steam and pressure cooking before I felt ready to share the final version with you.
At first, I tried a very plain version – a three egg Victoria Sponge mix with no extra flavourings. This is how they do it in the British baking bible – the BeRo Book. The thing is, it was really bland and very heavy.
After deciding a little lemon and vanilla extracts were needed to counter and compliment the Golden Syrup, I decided to vary the cooking techniques.
I was intrigued by reports that if you cook a steamed pudding on Steam in the Instant Pot but close the valve, it doesn’t rise so I tried both methods out.
And you know what – I didn’t find that to be true at all. Both of the tester puds I made rose evenly regardless.
But it was faster to leave the valve open and simply set 20 mins on my phone than having to wait for the timer to kick in and risk overcooking your pudding.
Once I confirmed an initial Steam followed by a slightly longer Pressure Cook (on Manual High) was the way to go, I finalised the recipe.
I left out one of the eggs but only reduced the butter, sugar and flour a tiny bit and bingo – the light, fluffy, sweet and sticky pudding of my childhood dreams came back into my life!
It’s a really old-fashioned pud but a truly wonderful one. Don’t leave out the meagre amount of breadcrumbs mixed in with the syrup as they suck up all that luscious topping and make sure you get a gooey, thick layer on top of your pudding, instead of soaking into a discernible layer as it cooks.
A large jug of custard is essential to serve your hot Steamed Syrup Pudding with too!
A traditional British steamed pudding updated with a little lemon and vanilla, and cooked in the Instant Pot. Surely this is the best thing to make with Golden Syrup, another British classic!
- 4 tbsp Golden Syrup
- 2 tbsp white breadcrumbs*
- 150 g soft butter (plus 1 tsp for greasing)
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 4 tbsp milk
Grease a 1 litre (1.5 pints) pudding basin with the extra butter. Put the Golden Syrup in its base then stir in the breadcrumbs. Also, put a full kettle on to boil.
Beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, just like you need to do for making a Victoria Sponge. Beat in the lemon extract and vanilla extract then the eggs one at a time.
Fold in the flour then before it is completely mixed, mix in the milk. Work with light hands and do not over stir or it will toughen the mix.
Scoop into the prepared basin. If it has a lid, pop it on, if not use a disc of baking parchment then a piece of foil to cover the pudding. Scrunch the foil up under the rim of the basin and secure with string or an elastic band if needed.
Place the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot in the inner pot and pour in the just boiled water from the kettle to approximately the 2-litre mark inside. Carefully place the pudding onto the trivet, place the lid on and OPEN the valve. Set to Steam and set a timer to 20 minutes (the pot will not come to pressure with the valve open so you need a timer, I use my phone).
When the timer is up, close the valve, press Cancel then press Manual. Adjust to 25 minutes (check it's on High). Allow an NPR for 10 minutes when before carefully retrieving the hot pudding with oven gloves. Remove the lid/foil and run a knife around the edge of the pudding before turning out onto a serving plate. Eat immediately with lashings of hot custard!
*= I usually whizz up a couple of slices of white bread in my food processor then store in a plastic food box in the freezer. This minimises waste as it's hard to just make 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs at a time.
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