john's marmalade and ginger self-saucing pudding

"I love self-saucing puddings, but when I make my own they're always short on sauce. What can I do?"

"The protein content in flour matters: those with most protein are most absorbent. Also, the more fat in the batter, the less the sauce will be absorbed because the fat coats the flour, making it less absorbent. The liquid in the sauce needs to be the right consistency: too thick and your pud will be less saucy. If the recipe you're using includes cocoa powder, this is more absorbent than flour, so the pudding will be drier."

serves 6-8; hands-on time 20 min; oven time 50 min-1 hour

food team's tip
Timings will vary depending on the depth of the dish you use. Check the pudding at 50 minutes, then every 10 minutes after that if the batter is still wet.

for the batter
175g tightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g fine-cut marmalade
150m1 whole milk
250g caster sugar
300g plain flour
2 large free-range eggs
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground ginger
Zest 2 oranges
Double cream to serve

for the sauce
300g orange curd (from large supermarkets and farm shops) or, if you can't find it, lemon curd 175m1 hot water
50g caster sugar

Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Mix all the batter ingredients, apart from the cream, in a food processor or stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth. (Or do it in a mixing bowl using a handheld electric whisk or wooden spoon.) Pour into a greased 30cm x 20cm (1 litre) pudding dish.

Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl, then pour evenly over the batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a knife pushed into the centre comes out almost clean (see tip). There may be a small amount of crumbs and sauce (which is now underneath) on the knife. Stand for 10 minutes, then serve warm with cream.

per serving (for 8) 639kcals, 23.7g fat (13.8g saturated), 6.7g protein, 101.6g carbs (65.9g sugars), 0.2g salt, 1.6g fibre

the golden rules of baking
All your implements need to be clean, dry and at the same temperature as your ingredients. Prepare the right-size tins at the start.
Invest in good-quality, accurate scales and be precise in your measuring.
Read the recipe and make sure you have everything , you need before you begin.
Use an oven thermometer to work out where the hot spots are and how high or low your oven runs.

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