Meals don’t feel complete without at least a morsel of sweetness to round them off. Most of the time a square of dark chocolate or scoop of ice cream is enough to satisfy but sometimes the cravings require something with a bit more substance.
Inevitably these desires are strongest when the cupboards and freezer are bereft of anything sugar based. Yes, one could turn to the fruit bowl but a pear or apple isn’t fun – it has no air of decadence or whiff of naughtiness and thus little ability to satisfy.
It was this combination of empty shelves and niggling desire for sweetness that led to the creation of insta-pud: a hearty late winter warmer that expanded the stomach, delighted the senses and induced a state of near comatose happiness soon after finishing the last mouthful.
As far as sponge puddings go, it won’t win any awards. It certainly doesn’t have the artery clogging density of a steamed suet based effort or the deft lightness of a well worked cake. But what it lacks in technique, it more than makes up for in brevity.
From raw ingredients to finished product it takes no more than five measly minutes. Just enough time to whip up some Bird’s custard, in fact. Perhaps not quite instant in the truest sense of the word but, hey, it’s all relative.
Microwaved Jam Sponge Pudding
Of course you could replicate this with countless other flavours – golden syrup, lemon, ginger, chocolate – but for a little whiff of summer, raspberries take some beating.
Size wise, this is easily large enough for two. Unless you’re feeling particularly greedy.
50g self raising flour
50g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
Some jam (only you know how much jam you like. For me it has to run down the sides like rivers of scorching lava)
Use a spoon to mix the butter and sugar together. Add the flour then the beaten egg. Stir to combine. Spoon the jam into the bottom of a microwavable container then pour the sponge mixture over the top. Microwave on medium power for 3-4 minutes until the top of the sponge is set in the middle. Go easy, if you do it too long you’ll end up with something that bounces.
Serve with custard and an episode of Arrested Development then lapse into a carb induced coma.
On the subject of cake, you should watch this – a neat little short that documents the British love affair with afternoon tea. Suggestions and recipes for favourite cakes are encouraged, especially if they can be made in an advert break.
For more near instant gratification, why not head on over to Twitter?