Written by Claire Goodwin


Pudding with a ping

The 60th anniversary of the microwave inspired Claire Goodwin to revisit a suitably snappy recipe from her childhood. And a classic Muppet clip.

sponge puddingWhenever I hear the word ‘microwave’, I think of three things specifically.

The first is the Swedish Chef (or the Norwegian Chef if you are Swedish) from The Muppets, in particular, in his dance video for 70s classic Popcorn. Apart from the dancing, playing spoons and drumming on pans, the Swedish Chef labels the things around him in his kitchen.

One particular piece of equipment always makes me laugh out loud, and that is the Microwoowoowoov. Watch it, I dare you not to smile!

The second thing I think of is the Welsh word for microwave, which I had always believed was ‘popty ping’ and translated as ‘oven ping’. Popty ping always pleased me in a kind of fluffy, fuzzy, snuggly way. Unfortunately, I later learnt, this word is rarely used by Welsh people; the word they use is ‘microdon’, and that conjures up images of a Borrower-sized mafia boss. Not quite so fuzzy and snuggly.

So, we come to the third thing I always think of when I hear the word microwave. Sponge pudding.

Mum and Nana could whip up a sponge pudding in a flash to finish off a Sunday dinner when we were kids. It’s easy, tasty and literally takes minutes to make.

Is it fancy? No. Is it elegant? No. Does it taste like childhood, Sundays, comfort and hugging? Absolutely.

So, to celebrate the 60th birthday of the humble microwave (without which many of us would be lost when it comes to feeding ourselves) here’s a yummy quick pudding that is sure to go down a treat with everyone.

This recipe will serve four people that eat in moderation with great discipline. Or, it will serve two greedy people.

yummy sponge puddingIngredients:

100g butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
60ml milk
100g self-raising flour
120g golden syrup (you can replace this with jam if you want)
Butter for greasing the bowl
Cream, ice cream or custard (always that bright yellow Bird’s stuff) to serve


Grease a plastic or glass bowl that is at least three inches deep and six inches wide. Pour 90g of the golden syrup into the bottom of the bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy; add the eggs slowly so as not to curdle the mix. Beat together until fully combined. Fold in the flour, then stir in the milk.

“Is it fancy? No. Is it elegant? No. Does it taste like childhood, Sundays, comfort and hugging? Absolutely.”

Pour the cake mix over the golden syrup in the bowl. Wrap cling film over the top of the bowl, making sure it is quite tight.

Cook on full power* in the microwave for five minutes and 30 seconds.

Remove the cling film, place a plate on the bowl and turn the pudding out onto the plate. Be careful – you don’t want any of the golden syrup splashing you as it will burn. Got that T-shirt.

Heat the remaining golden syrup for 30 seconds in the microwave and pour over the pudding on any parts that aren’t already covered in syrup.

more sponge puddingServe with cream, custard or ice cream. Or all three.

*My microwoowoowoov is a Tesco Value 750 watt model, so if you have a fancier/more powerful one, adjust your settings accordingly.


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Written by Claire Goodwin

Claire is a speech therapist, baker, cake decorator, sometime radio guest and writer. She writes about food, being fat and living with mental health problems @bake_therapist; www.baketherapy.co.uk; www.facebook.com/CakeChemistryUK