These little spongy gems can be made with any of your favourite or seasonal fruit. Preparation time for sponges 10 minutes. Cooking time for sponges 40 minutes. Cooking and preparation time for brandy sauce 10 minutes. Serves 4. Can be vegan*.
Ingredients for sponges:
70g brown sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten (for vegan* use 2 tbsp soya flour with 4 tbsp water)
100g ground almonds
40g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch nutmeg and cinnamon
450g fruit – cherries, apricots, raspberries, blue berries or your choice
3 tbsp caster sugar
200ml of flavoured brandy or liqueur to match fruit e.g. crème de cassis for raspberries, apricot brandy for apricots, cherry brandy for cherries etc
Ingredients for brandy sauce:
30g butter or vegan margarine*
30g plain flour
350ml milk or soya milk*
20g caster sugar
100ml single cream or soya cream*
2 tbsp brandy
2 drops of vanilla or almond extract
Method for the sponges:
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
To make the sponge base, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Now add the eggs, almonds, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and mix in thoroughly. Set aside.
Make the fruit layer next. Add the fruit, sugar and brandy or liqueur to a small saucepan and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed. This should take around 15 minutes.
Grease four ramekins and line with baking parchment. Place the fruit mixture into each of the ramekins then add the sponge mixture. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the sponge has risen and is crisp.
When done, let the puddings cool slightly before turning them out onto a plate each. You may need to go around the puddings with a sharp knife if they have stuck to the sides, carefully remove baking parchment.
Method for the brandy sauce:
Gently melt the butter (or margarine) then add the flour, stirring with a whisk. Allow to cook for two minutes, keep stirring.
Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time. As the milk is added the sauce will start to thicken.
Add the sugar and allow the sauce to cook for 5 minutes on a low heat, stirring from time to time.
Add the cream and brandy plus either vanilla or almond extract. Bring slowly back to a higher temperature stirring all the time then serve immediately.