Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn’t have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesey and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board with plates

I’ve tried to steer clear of this subject on my blog since I began it as I didn’t want to have to pigeon hole myself into any particular diet or limit the recipes I wanted to share. However, I’ve realised I’ve been doing myself and you guys a disservice as it seems sometimes that I’ve told half a story. So, throwing two fingers up at my natural inclination to not bore you relentlessly by talking about me me me all the time, I thought sod it, it’s time to over-share.

The subject of gluten is deadly dull, too scientific, too all-encompassing and too been-there-done-that. There are bloggers, food writers, cooks and nutritionists that can talk about it much more eloquently than me. Don’t ask me why gluten is bad, why we were all fine with eating bread 50 years ago and now it’s suddenly poisonous to half the western world or even what gluten actually is, like a well meaning friend asked me the other day. I might have changed the subject rather quickly to talk about Daredevil on Netflix instead.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

However, today I’m coming clean to tell you about my destructive love affair with gluten and why you’ll find that if you look down my recipe list that perhaps 80% of the recipes on my blog are gluten-free (although steer clear of the biscuits and cakes section if you’re doing that). So as I wang on in these next few paragraphs and you are rolling your eyes at yet more nonsense about how gluten was created by the Devil to contaminate society and destroy us from within, just bear with me. Or just wait for my next post – it will probably involve copious amounts of white flour rendering all my woeful soul bearing here totally irrelevant.

About 10 years ago I felt really unwell. I won’t make more of it than it was but it was affecting my daily life. I felt completely lacklustre with no energy and was constantly sick, I had horrible digestive cramps and unless I ate every few hours I would pretty much collapse. It was odd, I was eating healthy and hearty meals, lots of vegetables, not much sugar. However, come 3pm every day I felt dreadful and I often had to leave work in the middle of the day as I simply couldn’t function. I remember being slumped on the bus on the way home, barely being able to keep my eyes open, feeling awful as I had no idea what was wrong. Naturally I thought I was allergic to work, like any normal twenty-two year old fresh out of university, and was wracked with concern that I was not destined be the dynamic cutting edge TV producer I had dreamed of being but would instead have to dump Luke and marry a millionaire pretty much in order to save my life.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

I was in and out of the doctors, I had blood tests, allergy tests, thyroid tests. Everything was normal. My GP thought I might be clinically depressed and wrote me a prescription for anti-depressants. I threw it in the bin on the way out and got a new doctor.

At the same time though I had started to see a personal trainer and nutritionist who recommended cutting out gluten from my diet. I didn’t really know much about the gluten-free way of life back then. I had done Atkins like everyone else to lose weight but I didn’t really get the gluten thing. No one was really talking about it. Ha, how times have changed.

However, after a bit of trial and error (I was a bit of a slow student in that regard – what you mean I can’t eat flour tortillas) I gradually began to feel better. It didn’t take long for me to realise that come 3pm I was no longer crying or cramming a chocolate bar in my face to pick myself off the floor. My body ache and sickness had disappeared and with that I was able to be more productive at work and I started running and getting really rather healthy.

The End. I lived happily ever after and never did the big bad Gluten cross my path again, he was banished from my kingdom, Luke and I got married (sorry Mr Millionaire) and we had a wonderful baby boy whom we named Cole.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

Except real life dictates that there must be an epilogue. And so here it is. Since Cole was born in June last year gluten has made a major comeback for me. Turns out he wasn’t content sitting in the wings any longer but instead wanted a starring role yet again in my life. It hasn’t been just the odd cake or Yorkshire pudding because it’s the weekend but loaves of bread have passed these lips, a slip of the finger on my keyboard and packets of digestives have fallen helplessly into my Ocado shop.

I know I’m not alone when I confess that I have found these first few months of motherhood hard and as is my wont as a food loving, comfort eating, sugar addicted gal I have turned to food to get myself through it. Cake has been my 3am ally, tucked into the sleeves of my nursing chair and nibbled on throughout the night and toast has been my saviour when I’ve skipped another meal due to relentless crying, holding and feeding.

It is only now, 10 months in that I have calmed down enough to confront how sick I have been making myself. It’s not that anything has got any easier. Yes we have more of a routine but that goes out of the window more often that not. I have been getting more sleep but again just because I had a good seven hours uninterrupted last night doesn’t mean that I won’t be up and down every couple of hours tonight. However, for the most part it’s better.

Although, my health and my body have been left a wreck and I need to address the situation.

So having fessed up and outed myself as another one of those faddy diet people I would now like to talk to you about cauliflower cheese. Are you still with me? In the past I have always made cauliflower cheese with a traditional method of using a roux of butter, white flour and milk then adding the cheese. However because of this it has been a rare treat which only reared its delicious cheesy head at high days and holidays. Lately thought I have been whipping up a gluten-free version using only cornflour and milk instead of the roux. It’s so quick! Absolutely perfect as a smash and grab dinner for Cole and a lazy one for the two of us. The difference between the two versions is negligible and certainly one I can live with if it means I can have cauliflower cheese more frequently. It has even passed the Luke test who can be pretty severe in his judgment of gluten-free alternatives.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

The secret to any decent cheese sauce I think is to use a mix of cheeses, here I’ve gone with mature cheddar for flavour and red Leicester for sweetness and colour, and then a dollop of Dijon mustard which really brings out the cheesiness. I’ve also begun adding roasted garlic into the mix which sounds like a bit of a faff but really all you need to do is pop the garlic cloves in the oven and they roast for 10 minutes as the cauliflower is put on to boil. However, I’m on a bit of a roasted garlic kick at the moment and so I’ve been roasting up whole heads at the weekend for use during my mid-week meals. They add a mellow flavour which gives the sauce depth. The final stir of the crème fraiche in at the end adds richness to the sauce and is completely optional but really why would you not?

Just the cornflour and the milk together is a little bland so the sauce does need these little extras to knock it up to the standard of a traditionally made sauce but it’s not any bother at all. There is no salt in this recipe as all my food is made with Cole in mind these days but you would probably like to add some to taste. It does make life easier when you find these gluten-free hacks that are actually just as delicious and the road back to my optimum self a little more straightforward to navigate.

Since posting this recipe in Autumn 2016, all my recipes going forward are gluten-free but I am still working on converting all the older recipes to gluten-free versions.

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn't have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesey and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.
overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board
Course side dish
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
4-6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 100 g red Leicester grated (+25g for grating on top)
  • 50 g mature cheddar grated (+25g for grating on the top)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted and pureed
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 15 g ground almonds
Course side dish
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
4-6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 100 g red Leicester grated (+25g for grating on top)
  • 50 g mature cheddar grated (+25g for grating on the top)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted and pureed
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 15 g ground almonds
overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Separate the florets of the cauliflower then place in a large pan of boiling water. Bring up to a gentle simmer, then cook for 10 minutes. Drain and place the florets in an ovenproof dish.
  3. In a medium sized saucepan whisk the cornflour into the whole milk then once smooth switch on the heat and bring to a low boil.
  4. Sprinkle in the cheese and stir in until melted in.
  5. Add the mustard, pepper, garlic cloves and crème fraiche and stir in until it becomes a thick smooth sauce.
  6. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower florets then sprinkle on the extra cheese and the ground almonds.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes when the cheese should be bubbling and the almond breadcrumbs turning golden.

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Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

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Mint and Apple Relish

Mint and Apple Relish
I do like a bit of tradition at Easter so on Sunday I shall be having a slow cooked shoulder of lamb with roasted potatoes and spring vegetables. There is also no question that I will be pairing my roast lamb with a very English mint sauce, however I had always been a little disappointed with my homemade efforts and have been buying it in for the past few years.

Mint and Apple Relish

The recipes I had found placed too much emphasis on just the mint and the vinegar which always seemed to be too watery and pungent. Although I have found success with mint jellies I sometimes find them a bit too sweet for this exact meal. Mint jelly is infinitely better run through steamed new potatoes with a bit of butter on another day. For lunch on Sunday you do need the acidity of the vinegar to cut through the rich unctuous lamb.

So I have turned my back a little on the sauce and jellies and instead gone down the relish route for this recipe. The result is a honeyed but vinegary finish bolstered by bramley apples and shallots for good texture and given more strength of flavour by the inclusion of mustard and coriander seeds.

Mint and Apple Relish

The relish has lost none of its required piquancy however. It is fresh with the buoyancy of mint and quick to make alongside your roast lamb. Actually I could also quite happily see this also accompanying pork belly for lunch next Sunday as well.

Mint and Apple Relish

Mint and Apple Relish

½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
150ml white wine or cider vinegar
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon honey
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced
100g fresh mint, finely chopped

  1. Crush the mustard and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until fine.
  2. Place the seeds and shallots in a medium sized saucepan with the vinegar, bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the sugar, honey and salt and stir for a couple of minutes until dissolved.
  4. Mix in the apple then place the lid on and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until the apple has just softened but not broken down.
  5. Turn off the heat then add the mint, stirring until well combined.
  6. Serve warm or cooled.
  7. The relish will keep in the fridge for a week or two.

Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme: Day 9 of Whole30

Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme
It’s day 9 and I’m starting to get a bit jaded. There are only so many variations on meat and vegetables you can handle before you start to crave something different. This is where my parsnips came in to save the day yesterday.

Slashing a number of food groups out of your diet isn’t easy as you have to funnel all your creativity into quite a narrow focus. I am now starting to look beyond the simple salads and greenery that I have been relying on for the past 9 days and that has now led me to re-examine parsnips. This is a root vegetable I have always liked but for some reason they don’t appear in my kitchen at any other time save Christmas where they are lumped in with the roasties.

I thought I would introduce the parsnip into my diet this week in its most simple form as it is how I have always cooked them, roasted with duck fat. What the Whole30 lacks in food group variety, it makes up for in the quality of the foods you are allowed and including duck fat as part of a healthy eating plan seems a little excessive but it’s as natural a cooking agent as you will get. It was also sheer happenstance as I had a huge jar of it knocking around my fridge from a duck we had roasted for Sunday lunch a couple of weeks ago.

I accompanied the parsnips with a simple roast chicken, steamed kale and carrots. It was nice to give a bit of an occasion to the parsnips, letting their sticky sweet earthiness shine through the other humbly prepared veg. It was hardly the most summery of dishes but then as I look outside this is hardly the most summery of Mays.

Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme  |  Stroud Green Larder

Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme
Serves 2 as a side

4 parsnips
2 tbsp duck fat
A couple of sprigs of thyme

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Peel the parsnips, then cut into three pieces widthways.  Then cut the pieces in half lengthways.
  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil then add the parsnips. Bring back to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Place the duck fat on a baking dish into the oven to melt and warm it up.
  5. Drain the parsnips then tip into the baking dish with plenty of salt, black pepper and a couple of sprigs of thyme, turn so every parsnip is completely coated with the duck fat.
  6. Roast for about 45 minutes, turning the parsnips over a couple of times, until they are golden.

Roast Pork Shoulder with Haggis Stuffing

Roast Pork Shoulder with Haggis Stuffing
I am writing this surrounded by a cacophony of drilling, sawing and general demolishment of my house. I am safely cocooned in my sitting room with the three little monsters who are surprising sleeping soundly through the din. My little victorian railway cottage though does not have particularly thick doors and my bluesy country music which I have chosen to soundtrack my morning is turned up extra high to drown out the whip of tape measures, commercial radio and walls being hammered into submission. The worst thing about the whole affair though is that I am not allowed access to my kitchen today.

Macsween Haggis  |  Stroud Green Larder

Haggis  |  Stroud Green Larder

But you will be happy to know that all this upheaval is in the fine name of food. What else? I am biting the bullet and getting a door installed so I can shut off the kitchen from the rest of the house. There is a very narrow doorway between the hallway and the kitchen but in the past there has not been any space for a door for I am working with a very limited and tricky space in my wonky little house. But the lack of a kitchen door has proved problematic for numerous things, like when I’m burning stuff and I don’t want the rest of the house to know (that never happens I can assure you), or when it’s the height of summer and I’ve got every hob and both ovens on but due to the fact I have indoor cats I can’t open the windows. It’s deathly. However, the main reason for getting me a new door is to shut the mischief makers out of my hallowed arena. Yes my little sous chef will no longer be able to lounge around on the kitchen counter, sleeping on open pages of cookbooks, sniffing icing or pawing butter and puppy will no longer be able to weave in and out of my feet when I’m carrying pans of boiling water across the kitchen. My third camera shy beautiful blue girl never bothers in the kitchen unless she deems it treat time then she will roll around on the floor distracting me from keeping an eye on my caramel until I give in and pour her a big helping of Dreamies.

Haggis Stuffed Pork  |  Stroud Green Larder

Roast Pork Shoulder with Haggis Stuffing  |  Stroud Green Larder

It’s a necessary drama, having this door installed, as if I want to start my food business up properly from my home then there has to be a way to separate cats from kitchen, it’s all in the name of health and safety. It’s only been ninety minutes though and already I miss the kitchen. Hopefully it will only take them a day or so and then I can launch myself back in as I have a lovely burger relish recipe that I am itching to have a go at.

In the meantime I have to placate myself reminiscing about the wonderful Sunday lunch I roasted up at the weekend. Ever since my trip to Edinburgh in December and the sublime pig in a poke I ate with a generous smear of haggis at the Edinburgh farmers’ market I have been salivating over the thought of a roast joint of pork with haggis bulging from within. This weekend everything came together, I had my Macsween haggis, which is not only an excellent haggis but you can also get it everywhere, not just in Scotland. I also went to Broadway market and picked up an excellent boned and rolled shoulder of pork.

Roast Pork Shoulder with Haggis Stuffing  |  Stroud Green Larder

Now there are only two of us, not that it usually stops us from buying enough to feed the whole street, but it does mean that the joint was not quite big enough to capture all the haggis and during the roast some of the stuffing burst the banks and spilled onto the roasting tray. This could have been a burnt disaster but it turned out to give the excess haggis a wonderful crunch adding yet more texture to this sumptuous supper. The haggis that remained in the pork was moist and kept the meat juicy and flavoursome. I served my pork with roast potatoes, shredded spring greens, buttered carrots and lashings of thick gravy.

This was an absolute treat, the easiest stuffing in the world and a Sunday lunch triumph which will definitely become a staple in my kitchen.

Roast Pork Shoulder with Haggis Stuffing
Serves 4

1.2kg boned and rolled pork shoulder
250g haggis

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Remove the string and unroll your pork shoulder. If your butcher hasn’t already done so then score the fat with a sharp knife.
  3. Extract the haggis from the casing and mash up with a fork.
  4. Spread the haggis on the inside of the pork shoulder evenly, then carefully roll the pork back up tightly, making sure no haggis escapes. Secure with cooking string.
  5. Season generously with pepper and rub salt into the pork fat. Place upright on a roasting tray with the fat facing the ceiling of the oven.
  6. Roast for 20 minutes then turn the oven down to 150°C. Roast for a further 1½ hours when the crackling will look golden and the haggis is spilling out of the pork.

Slow Roast Middle Eastern Lamb with Toasted Almonds, Pine Nuts and Green Tahini Dressing

Slow Roast Middle Eastern Lamb with Toasted Almond Pine Nuts and Green Tahini Dressing
This recipe is a culmination of all the lovely things I have been cooking and obsessing over these past few weeks and as they are all brought together in one dish it seems fitting that it is just in time for the Easter weekend as it will make a lovely alternative to the standard British roast, if you can tear yourself away from tradition.

Slow Roast Middle Eastern Lamb  |  Stroud Green Larder

I have written before about how when I roast a joint or a bird I make sure I buy a beast large enough to fill twice the number of the original meal.  This is to ensure I achieve bountiful leftovers as there is nothing more rewarding the next day than throwing together a luxurious meal upcycled from yesterdays roast.  This lamb dish can go either way, it would work very well as one of those Easter Monday 30 minute meals or can equally hold its own as the very reason for roasting the joint in the first place.

Slow Roast Middle Eastern Lamb  |  Stroud Green Larder

Aside from the lamb itself there are three other components which I am just loving in my kitchen at the moment, the nutty crunch of almonds and pine nuts which I have toasted in abundance these past few weeks and have a nifty little jar now in my cupboard any time I need to pep up a salad or a side of rice.  I have also been caramelising onions like there is no tomorrow.  It is so worthwhile setting up a large saucepan and if your weeping eyes can handle it frying off a large amount of onions at a time, then sit them in the fridge as a little pick me up for any salad you might be preparing or as a quick go-to base for the evening’s dinner.

Slow Roast Middle Eastern Lamb with Toasted Almond Pine Nuts and Green Tahini Dressing  |  Stroud Green LarderIMG_3881

Finally I reach the cornerstone of my recent diet which is this green tahini dressing.  I have been making it every day and eating it with everything.  Tahini by itself I do think is an acquired taste.  First you must fall in love with houmous which I think most of us have down pat by now, then if you strip out the chickpeas you are left with this core element.  Tahini is no longer defined by its houmous heritage as we are now learning from middle eastern cooking the delights of this ingredient on its own.  However, since tahini is the richer element of the houmous it needs definite lightening up so the addition of lots of fresh herbs and lemon juice lifts the sauce into a bold creamy dressing.

This makes a lovely salad on its own but is also an absolute feast if served with cumin roasted potatoes or buttered rice.

Slow Roast Middle Eastern Lamb with Toasted Almond Pine Nuts and Green Tahini Dressing  |  Stroud Green Larder

Slow Roasted Lamb with toasted almonds, pine nuts and a green tahini dressing

1.5kg lamb shoulder on the bone (for spice paste see below)
50g flaked almonds
50g pine nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced thinly
fresh dill, mint and coriander to scatter

Lamb spice paste
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
juice of ½ lemon
60ml olive oil

Green tahini dressing
3 tbsp light tahini
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp water
15g dill
28g coriander including stalks
10g mint leaves

  1. Pre-heat oven as high it will go.
  2. Mix together all the spice paste for the lamb.
  3. Slash into the lamb shoulder several times with a sharp knife. Slather the spice paste all over the lamb, massaging into all the slashes you created.
  4. Place the lamb on a roasting tray and cover with foil. Put the lamb in the oven, immediately turning the oven down to 170°C. Roast for 4 hours. Then remove from the oven and rest for 15 mins
  5. Half an hour before you remove the lamb from the oven put the almonds and pine nuts in a medium saucepan on a low heat and toast gently until they are just about to turn colour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  6. In the same saucepan heat the olive oil then add the onions and some seasoning. Cook gently on a very low heat for 20 mins until completely softened but not yet caramelised, then add the red peppers, stirring in. Cook for a further 10 mins until the peppers have softened and the onions have caramelised. Set aside.
  7. To make the tahini dressing just whizz everything up in a food processor with seasoning until smooth.
  8. After the lamb has rested, pull the meat off the bone. Mix with the onions and peppers, a slug of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Scatter the almonds, pine nuts and a few fresh herbs over the top.
  9. Serve with the tahini dressing.

Blood Orange Pond Pudding

Blood Orange Pond Pudding

This recipe is not yet gluten-free

So she’s not a looker, it’s true.  However, what she lacks in beauty she makes up for in an abundance of unadulterated saucy pleasure.  She’s one of those gals who will give you a cheeky wink from across the room and you know that something wicked this way comes.

Suet Pastry

Puddings with a suet crust have fallen out of favour in recent times which is a travesty.  Not only is it a revelation if you are only used to sponge puddings to lap up your Sunday Roasts but the preparation is a cinch, the suet crust so easy to handle and difficult to bugger up if you are a novice. You can pull it together in mere minutes, tie a quick foil lid on the top and then leave it steaming merrily in a big pot at the back of your hob whilst you get on with the roast beef and Yorkshire puds.

Blood Orange Pond Pudding3 Blood Orange Pond Pudding4

Traditionally the Pond Pudding is made with a whole lemon in the centre which gives a sharp contrast to the sticky butter filling and indulgent suet.  However, I have yet to grow tired of my blood oranges this season and by lowering the sugar scale this citrus fruit allows a glorious tang to cut through the richness instead.  This is not a fly by night whispy dessert and those of a fragile disposition should look away now.  This classic English pudding takes no prisoners, and trumpets tradition in every moreish mouthful. It virtually transports you back in time to the 17th century when Hannah Woolley first wrote about it in The Queen-like Closet.

Blood Orange Pond Pudding5

A little goes a long way and please douse this bewitching maiden with copious amounts of thick custard for full effect.  Or, if you want to tone down the richness a downpour of double cream can let you off the hook.

Blood Orange Pond Pudding1

Blood Orange Pond Pudding
Adapted from Jane Grigson’s Sussex Pond Pudding from ‘English Food’

250g self-raising flour
125g shredded beef suet
A pinch of salt
75ml water
80ml milk
1 blood orange
150g unsalted butter
150g light brown caster sugar

  1. In a large bowl mix together the self-raising flour and beef suet and a pinch of salt.
  2. Stir the water and milk together and add to the flour and suet. Bring it all together into a smooth dough, add more liquid if it’s too dry.
  3. Roll into a circle, large enough to cover the inside of a 1 litre pudding bowl. Cut out ¼ of the circle and reserve for the top of the pudding.
  4. Butter the inside of the pudding bowl liberally, then take your large section of suet dough and place around the inside of the bowl, bring the cut sides together so there are no gaps.
  5. Sprinkle half of the sugar and drop half of the butter into the bottom of the pudding. Prick holes in the orange with a skewer then place the orange on top. Add the rest of the sugar and butter around and on top of the orange.
  6. Roll out the remaining ¼ of the suet dough into a circle, then place on top of the pudding to encase the orange, butter and sugar, pinching it together with the sides tightly.
  7. Make a lid for the pudding bowl by cutting out a piece of foil and a piece of greaseproof paper into circles a couple of inches larger than the top of the pudding bowl. Place the foil on top of the greaseproof paper then create a fold in the two layers by folding the middle of the two back in on themselves by a couple of centimetres so there is room for them to expand during the steam if necessary. Place the layers on top of the pudding bowl, greaseproof paper down, and fold down the bowl securing in place with string. Cut away the excess paper.
  8. Place the bowl in a steamer or in a large cooking pot on top of a trivet so that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan (use a folded up tea towel if that’s all you have). Pour in water so that it reaches halfway up the bowl, do not let it touch the foil or greaseproof paper otherwise the water will travel inside the pudding and make it soggy.
  9. Put the lid on the cooking pot and steam the pudding for 3½ hours.
  10. Remove the pudding bowl carefully from the cooking pot, remove the foil and paper lid and slide a pallet knife around the pudding to separate from the bowl. Place a plate on top of the pudding bowl and carefully turn upside down. Lift up the pudding bowl and the pudding should remain magnificently on the plate ready to serve.