Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Politically Incorrect Pudding

Today I finally made James his Valentines cake. He decided to cox all of the day itself, so I delayed my cake making! I made him a dish of the delcious but unfortunately named 'Brown Betty' which I used to make with my grandma as a child. She, in turn, used to make it with her grandma in Timaru, New Zealand, in the 1940s. A few weeks ago I had a sudden recollection of how delightful it was, and wrote to her to ask for the recipe.

Its very simple and involves floating blobs of chocolatey cake mixture in a sugar syrup, then baking it. Dark brown muscovado sugar is essential to give it the right taste.

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Beat in a bowl
  • 2 oz butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates and walnuts
Pour hot syrup into dish and drop mixture in large spoonfuls.
Bake for half an hour at Gas Mark 4


  1. It sounds like a real NZ cake, my wife Frances is from NZ and uses the Edmonds "Sure to Rise" cookery book which comes from there. We would try this recipe if it wasn't for our waist lines. Maybe we should take up rowing.


  2. Looks yummy - one question though. Wikipedia says a New Zealand cup (250ml) is different from an Imperial cup (284ml), so I was wondering which it is that you used? (: