Benjamina Ebuehi’s recipe for spiced caramel pudding | Food

ssometimes waiting for a cake to cool feels like torture. So when a recipe tells you to serve it warm, it brings a little joy to my heart to know that oven-to-belly time is minimal. This is one of those cakes. A super soft brown sugar sponge that, I admit, looks like a classic sticky toffee pudding at first glance. What makes it different, however, is the spiced caramel sauce that is swirled into the batter and poured on top. Heavy with cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, it contains all my favorite spices and makes for a hug in a bowl.

Spiced caramel pudding

Preparation 10 minutes
Style 40 min+
Cook 1 hour
Serves 6-8

For the cake
150 g unsalted buttersoftened
100 g light brown sugar
100 g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
250 grams of flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp sodium bicarbonate
1½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
200 ml milk

For the spiced caramel
300 ml whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
20 g fresh ginger
peeled and roughly chopped
12 cardamom podsslightly bruised
3 cinnamon sticks
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
200 g caster sugar
50 g unsalted butter
½ tsp sea salt

To make the caramel, place the cream, vanilla and spices in a small saucepan and heat gently until steamed. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for at least 40 minutes (the longer the better). Strain into a pitcher when ready to use.

Preheat oven to 190C (170C Fan)/375F/Gas 5, and grease a medium sized baking dish with butter.

In a second saucepan, heat the caster sugar over medium heat until melted and deep amber; stir it every now and then to make sure it melts evenly. Add the softened butter and beat quickly – the mixture will bubble up fairly quickly (and will be extremely hot, so be careful). Once the butter is mixed in, slowly add the infused cream, whisking, then remove from heat, stir in the sea salt and set aside.

To make the cake batter, in a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars until pale and creamy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a second bowl, combine the flour, spices, bicarb, baking soda and salt, then add half of this to the butter mixture and stir until just blended. Mix in the milk, followed by the rest of the dry mix.

Pour the batter into the greased dish and stir in two tablespoons of the spiced caramel. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Before serving, cut portions of the warm cake and pour plenty of the spiced caramel over it; a scoop of ice cream is always good.