(Or Black-Cap Pudding)
Any of several steamed puddings made so as to have a 'cap' of dark fruit, or similar, when turned-out. Known by this name at least since a receipt in 'The English Housekeeper' of 1835 and commercially at least since bills-of-fare from Bell's Neville Hotel in Newcastle, from 1865 onwards. The commonest early receipts (as Acton 1845) use a thin pancake-type batter with currants mixed-in, which fall to the bottom as the pudding sets. More recent versions use an egg sponge.
Black Cap Pudding
Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (;
Make a good light thin batter, and just before it is poured into the cloth stir to it half a pound of currants, well cleaned and dried: these will sink to the lower part of the pudding and blacken the surface. Boil it the usual time, and dish it with the dark side uppermost; send very sweet sauce to table with it. Some cooks butter a mould thickly, strew in the currants, and pour the batter on them, which produces the same appearance as when the ingredients are tied in a cloth.
All batter puddings should be despatched quickly to table when they are once ready to serve, as they speedily become heavy if allowed to wait
Original Receipt from 'Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald' - Saturday 21 December 1907
WHAT PUDDING IS IT TO-DAY?
Be ready at least three days a week with the answer; "A pudding with lots of currants in it."
The craving which little folks have for fruits and sweetmeats is a natural one, and should be gratified by supplying them with that most healthful and nourishing of all fruits—dried currants. Here is a recipe for a nice light pudding just right for the children:
Ingredients Halt a pound of flour, two eggs, three-quarters of pint of milk, three ounces of currants, pinch of salt.
Method —Sift the floor into basin, add the salt, beat up the eggs, and stir gradually into the flour, add the milk by degrees, and work into a batter. Butter large pudding basin. Sprinkle in the currants, and pour in the prepared batter. Cover the basin with buttered paper, and steam for an hour.
Your Grocer will give you free on request a booklet entitled; "Currants—A few Tasty Recipes, which is full of useful recipes suitable for the family dinner."
Dundee Courier - Friday 30 January 1953
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