The moment I saw this challenge I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Steamed pudding. As in British steamed pudding. Really? And get this. I was supposed to use SUET! Where would I find suet? A better question is, what exactly is suet?
The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
Esther explained on the Daring Bakers site that suet “is the hard but flaky fat found on the inside of a cow or sheep around the kidneys and that area of the body. Suet in its raw form crumbles easily into small chunks so much so that my butcher says it covers his floor in bits if he doesn’t have it taken out as soon as possible. In fact unless he knows he has a customer for it he has the abattoir take it out and throw it away and when I want some he gives it to me for free! It also melts at quite a low temperature, which has an effect on how it works in cooking. In some places such as the UK it is sold processed which basically means it is grated and combined with flour to keep the individual pieces from clumping together, and it becomes a sort of dried out short strands, almost granular in texture.”
I’m pretty sure that I didn’t follow all the rules of this challenge. I didn’t use suet. I used butter. My pudding did not have a crust with filling. It was more like a cake with fruit topping. I did not use a traditional pudding mold. I just used a bowl. I did, however, steam my pudding just as instructed. So, if I failed in all other categories, at least I did one thing right.