Saturday, December 28, 2013

Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding

This pudding is a favorite of mine and my family too. It can be made plain (without the jam) and a chocolate sauce can be poured once the pudding has been cooked, and turned up-side-down. In England, we used a thick golden syrup (Tate and Lyle) which provides a wonderful change to the jam at the base. Then the pudding is called Golden Cap Pudding. The syrup can be purchased at specialty English shops. 
Note: If you don't have a pudding basin...make individual puddings using teacups. Only fill the cups about half way to allow for expansion. Sorry, I’ve never converted this recipe from Imperial measurements to cup measurements.
4 oz. margarine
4 oz. sugar
2 eggs
6 oz. self-raising flour OR ad 1 ½ level teaspoons of baking powder to plan (all purpose) flour

Cream the margarine and sugar. Add beaten eggs slowly and fold in the flour. Add just enough milk to give a dropping consistency (dollop on a spoon drops by counting 1,2,3) Grease a pudding basin, place about 3 tablespoons of jam in the bottom, and place the creamed mixture on top. Cover tightly with foil and place in a saucepan of boiling water about 1/3 up the side of the pudding basin for about 1 ½ hours. Remember to add boiling water, but never allow the water to get over the side of the pudding otherwise you’ll have a soggy mess. After 1 ½ hours of steaming, turn the pudding out onto a plate and let the jam run down the sides. Serve with cream, custard or ice cream.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

High Altitude Cocoa Fudge Cake

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've attempted to bake a cake from scratch in Denver...and felt the disappointment. It always starts off the same -- on goes the pinny (apron) and with every good intention I enter the kitchen area, humming a little tune, pull out the scales and measuring cups, and begin with a flourish. I've measured the ingredients diligently, weighing the eggs along with other fluids, etc., and followed my recipes to the letter, but alas, failure is not too far behind. But recently, I found a recipe for a chocolate cake for high altitude cooking. It's easy and delicious! 

Cocoa Fudge Cake
For altitudes of 4,000 to 6,000 feet

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (don’t use self-rising flour in this recipe)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 ¼ teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups buttermilk
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches or 2 rounds layer pans, 9x 1 ½ inches.

Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend ½ minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans(s).

Bake oblong about 35 minutes, layers 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack.
For convenience use a packaged frosting or your own favorite recipe. I'll include my own in another post.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Stephan Swanson -- Personal Trainer

Originally from Jupiter, Florida, Stephan has clearly taken a liking to the mountain life! He used to perform in the circus and now seems content just making his co-workers smile everyday with his fun-loving and athletic antics. It is fitting given his philosophy that "those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." If you have questions about staying prepared for snow season and avoiding injuries on the slopes, email Stephan today at

On a personal note: Stephan has worked with me for some time to strengthen my core muscles. He is particularly careful and diligent, and makes sure I’m following his direct instructions so as not to re-injure myself. By doing so, I’m gradually getting stronger, and have been able to return to my favorite sports.