Apologies for the silly title. I’m a little punchy. It’s been one of those weeks at work, where I’m constantly teetering on the brink of bursting into manic laughter, at which point they would have to tie me up and drag me off to St. Mungo’s. Yes, one of THOSE weeks. Add to that that I haven’t been feeling well, and, well, that’s the explanation for why posting around here has been on the light side. Fortunately, I have some lovely comfort food to deliver to you, in case you, too, are having one of those weeks.
When you are sick with a cold, the best thing to have is a hot toddy. If you’ve never had this miraculous concoction, it’s a shot of scotch whisky, a few tablespoons of honey, the juice of a lemon, and a cup full of boiling water. The honey, whisky and lemon all have antibacterial properties and they soothe your scratchy throat and calm your cough. Plus if you drink enough of them, you won’t even realize you feel bad. See? Magic.
I saw this recipe for hot toddy pudding cake in Gourmet, and I knew I had to try it. It combines the comforting flavors of a hot toddy with a different kind of magic – the surprise pudding. You pour batter into a pan, and in the oven it separates into a layer of sponge cake and a layer of custard. I had tried this before once with boiling water and chocolate to really disastrous results, but this particular pudding comes together like a dream.
It’s the work of minutes to mix up – Just mix, honey, lemon and whisky with a few cake ingredients, beat egg whites and sugar separately into stiff peaks, fold it together, and pop the homogeneous mass in the oven. The oven does all the work, and you pull out a lovely, pale puffy cake.
But it’s when you dig into the cake that you find the lemony custard underneath. It tastes like a hot toddy – comforting and floral from the honey and the whisky.
This should cure what ails you.
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup Scotch (I used the end of a malt scotch by John Mark and Robbo because I had it, but a good blend like Dewar’s will work, too)
- ½ stick butter, melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons mild honey
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3 large eggs, separated
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 1 ½ quart shallow dish.
- Whisk together milk, lemon juice, Scotch, butter, honey, zest, salt and egg yolks, then stir in flour.
- Beat whites until they start to get frothy, then add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time while beating, until whites just hold stiff peaks (stiff peaks mean that the whites basically hold their shape when you lift out the beaters).
- Stir some of the meringue into flour mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites. Pour batter into your prepared dish and bake in a water bath (water baths promote even cooking) until the top is set and golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.
SHUT. UP. Are you kidding me with this? You take my favorite drink and turn it into this when I’m knocked up and can’t have it for another four months? That is a crime, Ms. Savour, a massive crime. Also, as soon as I pop out this kid, you are hired to come up here and make this for me.
Okay, what happens if I omit the whiskey?
Pudding cakes are seriously one of the best things in the world. Yours looks just dreamy! Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll have to make one again soon!
Oh, man, this looks great. I’m gonna try it alcohol-free and with soymilk (I think I’m out of cow’s milk) and I’ll let you know how it goes.
ohhh. and i even have a cold! which means i can eat this without feeling guilty, right?! i’ll take 1 bowl, please 🙂
Omit the whiskey….are you kidding!!! That’s what makes this a germ busting wonder. It’s definitely on my baking schedule the next time a cold enters my household. I’ve always relied on the hot toddy approach when a cold has me down, and this sounds like heaven on a spoon.
I’m pretty sure that when you cook alcoholic beverages like this the alcohol burns off and you are just left with the taste. Making it safe when you are preggers. Anyone know for sure????
Here’s a website that shows the amount of alcohol remaining after cooking:
Based on this, it looks like about 30% of the alcohol in this recipe would remain. Which, if you eat 1/4 of the recipe, comes to 1 tsp of scotch. Everyone has different thresholds of comfort regarding alcoholic beverages during pregnancy, but I personally would feel very comfortable with that level of alcohol consumption.
I don’t have any health reasons (pregnancy, etc.) not to use alcohol — I just don’t like the flavor, even in small quantities. So I used water in place of the whisky, and it turned out fine. The teenager said it was the best thing ever. (I used cow’s milk; I wasn’t out of it after all.)
These sorts of puddings have been a favourite of mine since Mum used to make them for us as kids, but the addition of lemon here looks particularly tasty!