Steamed ginger sponge

Ginger sponge pic: PA Photos
Ginger sponge pic: PA Photos

Although he's considered one of the best food writers working today, Simon Hopkinson has always preferred life out of the spotlight. Now he is starring in his first TV series The Good Cook, starting this month.

Here is one of his favourite recipes

Steamed ginger sponge

(Serves a generous 4)

100g self-raising flour

2 rounded tsp ground ginger

1tsp mixed spice

1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g suet

100g fresh breadcrumbs

165g jar preserved stem ginger

Scant 200ml milk

50g golden syrup

75g treacle (or molasses)

1 large egg

Softened butter, for greasing

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the spices and bicarbonate of soda. Add the suet and breadcrumbs and mix well. Coarsely chop the stem ginger, including its syrup, in the bowl of a food processor. Warm the milk with half the mass of chopped stem ginger, the golden syrup, the treacle or molasses and a pinch of salt. Beat into the dry ingredients, with the egg, until sloppy and just dropping off the spoon.

Generously grease a one-litre pudding basin with butter and put the remaining half of the chopped ginger mass in the bottom. Pour in the pudding mixture, cover with buttered and pleated kitchen foil, tie round with string and steam for 2 hours. Turn out on to a dish and serve with very cold thick cream or custard.

:: The Good Cook starts on Friday, July 8 on BBC One. The accompanying book of the same name is published by BBC Books, priced £25.

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