If you don’t like ginger you can make this just with golden syrup, but, however you flavour it, serve it with proper custard!
butter 200g softened, plus extra for greasing the pudding basins
syrup from a preserved ginger jar 100ml
golden syrup 100ml
ginger wine 4 tbsp
lemon freshly squeezed juice of ½
caster sugar 300g
eggs 4, plus two extra yolks
self-raising white flour 400g
ground ginger 2 tsp
preserved ginger 75g, finely chopped
For the vanilla custard
double cream 575ml
vanilla pods 2, split in half lengthways and the seeds scraped out
egg yolks 6
caster sugar 40g
Grease six 200ml dariole moulds or pudding basins with butter and line the bottom of each with a small piece of baking parchment cut to fit, then grease the paper. Cut out six pieces of kitchen foil, each large enough to be pleated in the middle and to fit over the top of each with an overhang. Bring a kettle of water to the boil.
Bring the ginger syrup, golden syrup, ginger wine and lemon juice to the boil, stirring to dissolve the syrups, then remove the pan from the heat. Beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and extra egg yolks. Sift over the flour and ground ginger and then beat into the mix. Stir in the preserved ginger.
Divide three-quarters of the syrup between the dariole moulds, then add the batter, only filling each three-quarters full. Cover the tops with the circle of foil, pleated along the centre to allow the puddings to rise, then securely tie in place. Place into two or three flameproof casseroles on upturned saucers and pour in enough boiling water to come half way up the side of the moulds. Cover the pans and simmer over low heat for 1½ hours, or until the puddings are well risen. Remove the puddings from the water and leave them to stand for a few minutes before turning out and peeling off the paper. If they stick, run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the moulds.
Meanwhile, make the custard. Put the cream and vanilla seeds and pods into a saucepan over a high heat and bring just to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a heatproof bowl until fluffy and pale.
Pour the boiling cream on to the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour this mixture back into the pan and simmer until it reaches 82C on an instant-read thermometer. Pass the hot custard through a fine sieve. Pour the remaining syrup over the puddings and serve with the custard.