Sweetly tart rhubarb tops this spice and citrus-infused pudding and vanilla bean custard is the perfect accompaniment.
2 long stalks red rhubarb
2 tablespoons golden syrup
175 grams butter, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
finely grated zest 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon each ground ginger and cinnamon
¼ cup crystallised ginger, roughly chopped
½ cup milk
good-quality purchased vanilla bean custard or cream
Butter the pudding steamer or basin and line the base with a circle of baking paper.
Cut the rhubarb into 2cm lengths and place in the base of the steamer, in two well-packed layers. Drizzle over the golden syrup.
Pudding: Beat the butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, spices and the chopped ginger together. Add to the butter mixture along with the milk and using a large metal spoon, gently but thoroughly fold into the batter, ensuring there are no unmixed pockets of flour.
Carefully spoon the batter over the rhubarb and smooth the top. Cover the surface of the pudding with a circle of baking paper and cover with the lid or use a double sheet of foil and secure tightly with string.
Place a clean cloth in the bottom of a large saucepan and put the pudding on top. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basin. Cover and simmer gently for 1½ hours, topping up with more boiling water as needed.
To serve: Remove the basin from the steamer and leave for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and paper and place a serving plate over the top.
Holding the plate and the basin, invert the pudding and remove the basin. Serve hot with a jug of custard or cream.