We are currently having more work done on the house and it includes the redecoration of my parents' new kitchen, which of course means that the kitchen is 'out of bounds' during the day. Since mom is doing a sterling job of keeping the workmen in cups of tea - no mean feat I can tell you - I have offered to cook our evening meal. Now my kitchen is somewhat Spartan at the moment and the cooking facilities consist of a microwave, a George Foreman grill, a slow cooker, a kettle and a toaster. What I needed was a sweet that I could microwave and whilst scouring the shelves at the local shop I spotted Heinz Sponge Puddings and they were B.O.G.O.F., which I am sure you all know by now means buy one get one free. Since there will be four of us eating the meal and Dave has a very sweet tooth I thought that two of these would be just the job for us and, as we?ve had them before we already know that they taste heavenly! The choice of flavours in our shop was treacle, strawberry jam, chocolate (ugh!) or spotted dick and none of them contain any GM ingredients. I decided to go for one of the treacle flavour and one of the spotted dick ones. I know I won't be able to have very much, but if I avoid sugar in other forms during the day I can have a bit can't I? I also thought that the spotted dick one would have less in the way of sugar and calories than the treacle one - well you would think so wouldn't you? You would of course be quite wrong amazingly enough! The treacle one has 278 calories per 100g, 48.9g of carbohydrate of which 32.4g is sugar and 8.1 g of fat of which 2g is saturated fat. The spotted dick one has 325 calories per 100g, 49.8g of carbohydrate of which 34.4g is sugar and 12.5g of fat of which 4.3g is saturated fat. So the one with all that lovely treacle sauce has 47 less calories per 100g and 2g less of sugar!! Well, there you are - you live and learn don
9;t you? The cooking is a piece of cake, or should that be a piece of pudding? You just take them out of the tin place on a microwaveable plate, cover with a microwaveable bowl and pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and Bob's your uncle. Just test them to make sure that they are heated all the way through before you serve them though. You can of course cook them the old fashioned way. You just have to pierce the tin (this is VERY important or it will explode!) and then simmer in a saucepan of boiling water for about 40 minutes, remembering not to let the pan boil dry! When it comes to the actual eating of this wondrous delicacy you can eat it with nothing on (clothed but no adornments on the pudding if you please), with cream, ice cream or custard. They are widely available at most supermarkets and corner shops and will cost in the region of £1 for a tin, or two if you get a BOGOF like I did! There's about 300g in each tin depending on which flavour you buy so there's enough for two good helpings in each tin. So there you are - you all know what we're having for pudding today and I for one am looking forward to it! Minimum cooking, minimum washing up but maximum flavour - what more can you ask? If anyone has read this before I went back and editted out all the question marks I do apologise I forgot that I had to perform that annoying task!!
I have been trying to diet, yet again unsucessfully, I have no will power. Well, I have for somethings but when it comes to sweet things my will power seems to go out the window. Tonight I made the dinner and then put out one of these Heinz sponge puddings you make it in a pan by boiling or steaming. You have to keep topping up the water in the pan so it doesn't boil dry. They take about 35 mins if you cook them this way, not having a microwave I have no choice, but if you have they take 2 mins on full power. You have to empty the tin onto a microwavable dish first though as I dread to think of the mess if you don't. Once they are cooked, presuming your boiling it in a pan, be careful to turn the tin over to the end which says open this end first, otherwise you will get burned with the chocolate or whatever flavour you have chosen. They have quite a range of flavours, raspberry, strawberry, treacle, chocolate, toffee, spotted dick and I'm sure there are others which I can't recall at the moment. The tin set me back 79p in Safeways as they are on offer this week. I love the taste and the sponge always comes out nice and fluffy, that's if you don't get impatient and open it before the cooking times up. The toppings are really good to and the chocolate one's are really rich and chocolatey. You can eat these with custard, cream or just on their own. The tins are easy to recognise on the shelf of the supermarket as they have a picture of a sponge pudding in the front with the Heinz logo on the front. I usually get a few in for christmas as my grandchildren don't like christmas pudding and these are a great alternative. If your not satisfied with them Heinz will refund your money. Their web site is www.heinz.co.uk if you want a nosey. Have fun eating these, I know I do.
~ ~ The ‘mad cabbie’ has a very sweet tooth, which is probably why I like Heinz Sponge Puddings so much. Probably the easiest way to describe them would be to ask you to cast your mind back to the stodgy sponges that used to be served up at school dinners. (well, they were stodgy at my school anyway!) So it’s fair to say that they wont be everybody’s cup of tea, and if you don’t like this type of sweet, then this sponge pudding is definitely not for you. I happen to like them myself though! ~ ~ As a youngster, this was my absolute favourite dessert, and I would pester the life out of my poor mother to get it on an almost daily basis. Back in the 1950,s and 60’s (yes, they’ve been on the go that long, at least!) the only flavour available was treacle. In fact, I think they called it “Golden Syrup” back then. Nowadays they have a far larger choice of different flavours, and you can now get treacle, (still my favourite) strawberry jam flavour, chocolate, black forest gateau, and toffee. I like the strawberry jam almost as much as the treacle, but the others I simply don’t like at all. ~ ~ They are easy enough to prepare. Nowadays all you need do is to stick them on a plate and heat them up for a couple of minutes in a microwave. I still prefer the old fashioned way if cooking them though, which is to pop a couple of holes in the lid of the tin, and then simmer them slowly in a pot of boiling water for about thirty to forty minutes. I feel that they are cooked “all the way through” using this method, as sometimes they can still be a bit cold in the centre after they come out of the microwave. Do be sure and pop the holes in the tin though. I remember one time when I was a lad my mother actually forgot to do this. We were sat around the kitchen table having a lovely plate of mince and tatties, (potatoes) when there was this almighty bang. Th
e contents of the tin flew out of the pot and crashed into the ceiling, before dropping down to land smack in the middle of my dad’s plate of mince. I thought it was totally hilarious, but as old Queen Victoria used to say, he was “not amused”. I like to put some single cream on mine, (watch the cholesterol levels!) but failing this I will settle for a drop of milk. They are also delicious with custard or a dollop of ice cream. ~ ~ You can buy them in most supermarkets or grocery shops, although for some strange reason it seems to be becoming harder and harder to get my favourite treacle flavour here in Ireland. There are 300g in the round tin, and they cost somewhere in the region of €1.60 to €1.95 (£1 to £1.20 Sterling) depending where you buy them. There’s enough for two or three fairly generous helpings in each tin, although I have to say I have been known to get through a whole one on my own without too much difficulty. So there you have it folks. Heinz Sponge Puddings. Ideal for a quick and easy dessert, and very tasty, but only for those with a sweet tooth. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ (The boring bit) INGREDIENTS (copied of the tin) Sugar Wheat flour Glucose syrup Water Hydrogenated vegetable oil Salt Dried egg Diglycerides of fatty acids Skimmed milk powder Raising agents (including sodium, hydrogen, carbonate, and sodium) (It’s fairly fattening as well, with 20g of fat content per tin) ~~~~~~~~~~~~
How anybody can bring himself or herself to eat a tinned steamed pudding is beyond my comprehension. They are bland lacking in substance and above all hard to actually open and get at anyway. I know we are living in a throwaway society and the art of cooking seems to be a failing art form. Yes art form cooking done properly is an art form and I feel should qualify for the Olympic Games. Surely in the winter games a perfect ice cream or sorbet mixed to perfection and tasting sublime could be marked by a panel of judges and gold medals etc be awarded. Of course in the summer games hotter foods would have to be prepared in keeping with the summer heat. Back to the subject in hand tinned sponge puddings, I adore sponge puddings and wish I could recommend the tinned variety but I can’t. They are just not worth the space in your shopping trolley let alone parting with cash for them. No pass the pudding to either the left hand-side or which ever way you prefer to pass it the answer to your tinned pudding problem lies with you dear reader. MAKE YOUR OWN I can see some of you shuddering with fear............make my own Cata must be mad. Well yes I am mad but I am normally pretty harmless. Here goes take 2 oz of margarine, 2 oz of caster sugar, 4 oz of self raising flour, 1 egg 1 tablespoon of milk. Take a one pint pudding bowl, for those of you that are unsure nip to the pub, borrow a pint glass and test out your bowls and another bowl to mix the ingredients in. Bung all the ingredients into the mixing bowl, please remember to remove the shell from the egg, this is essential and is the hardest thing you none cooks will have to do. Mix them altogether till you have a creamy paste. To do this use a wooden spoon or for the more advance an electric beater. Grease the inside of your pudding bowl, not the outside or it will become slippery and hard to hold, add the mixture and cover with
some foil. Steam for one and a half hours before serving with the sauce of your hearts desire. How to steam, put your bowl into a saucepan fill with water until halfway up the bowl not pan, turn heat on to reach boiling point, place lid on saucepan and voila you are away. Just be careful that you do not boil the saucepan dry. The cooking time does not really matter if you steam for one and a half hours or three, alternatively you can do this part of the cooking in a micro wave but I do not like the way the puddings come out then. reheat them by all means but stick to proper steaming to cook. For more adventurous people put golden syrup in the bottom of your pudding bowl and when steaming is complete you have a gorgeous golden syrup sticky pudding. Other exciting ideas can be to add currents to make the pudding into a spotted dick or as Tesco’s would prefer a Spotted Richard. It’s so simple anybody can make a steamed pudding rather than suffer what is served up by Heinz inside their tins, go on try it you can do. As an after thought imagine the fun if while curling our brave lasses and lads had to whip up a culinary treat at the same time, perhaps mixing drinks would be a good idea for those competitors on the luge and skeleton. Lastly more about Heinz tinned puddings, they are of such a bad consistency that they beggar belief. The look and taste rate very poorly and I can say that a less appealing pile of sticky mess has never before been on my plate. How a top manufacturer can produce such a culinary disater is really beyond me. Nastily packaged and with no thought to making the dish appealing in any shape or form. My last suggestion would be to buy their microwave brand instead that at least is a passable pud. Cata®
Having 3 kids and a large house to take care of, my mum never was one for the culinary arts. Hence I was partly brought up on tinned Heinz sponge puddings. We didn’t just have them for dessert in our house – when mum was particularly tired or stressed, the pudding was the entire meal! Many years later, Heinz tinned puddings are still going strong and can be found on supermarket shelves the world over. There are currently several flavours: Apple and cinnamon with sultanas Black forest Golden syrup Cadbury’s caramel Chocolate Treacle Strawberry jam Spotted dick Sticky toffee Absolutely starving at my mum’s house the other day and in need of something sweet, I opened the pantry door and there they were: a veritable stack of these reminders of my youth. Surely they couldn’t be quite as bad as I remembered? And I was starving. Tentatively I reached out a golden syrup one, threw caution to the wind and cooked it. How to cook: The puddings can either be steamed in their tin in a big pan of boiling water for 45 mins, or you can take them out of the tin and microwave for a couple of minutes. Results are exactly the same whichever. The taste: The puds, whichever flavour, are very sweet and strong. The syrupy one is very syrupy, the chocolate one very chocolatey etc. All in all, the taste is quite pleasant. The texture: Here comes the bad bit. Texture-wise these puddings are awful. In my opinion, a sponge pud should be light and fluffy with plenty of sticky sauce to balance it out. Heinz sponge puds are as heavy as lead. Seriously. Just feel the weight of the tin, or open a tin and look at the heavy lump of ‘sponge’ residing inside. Cooking neither fluffs it up nor aerates it. And the tiny portion of extremely jelly-like sauce does nothing to compensate for the pud’s esse
ntial dryness either. Eat half a pudding – a reasonable portion – and you will feel so heavy you won’t be able to move for the rest of the day. Instead you will feel as though you’ve drunk plaster of Paris which is now setting rock hard in your intestines where it will sit for days causing an obstruction and resulting in the worst case of constipation you have ever suffered. Nutritional Information: Heinz Syrup Pudding contains 368 kcals, 42.2 g of sugar and 15.1 g of fat per 100g. Mothers: I don’t care how busy/tired/stressed you are, feeding your children these gut-paralyzing, teeth-rotting, artery-clogging ‘treats’ is tantamount to abuse. Anyone else thinking of giving them a go: Take with a large dose of senna and prepare to lie down all afternoon. Put simply: DON’T DO IT.
Tinned sponge puddings for steaming or microwave.