My pudding and souse experience in Barbados was memorable. I wanted to try it again but gave pudding a tryout on its own. There are a variety of ingredients in the recipes I read so I aimed for something in the middle and it turned out quite well. The quantities serve six as a side dish.
It began with a big bowl. I grated three large sweet potatoes and added some chopped greens from Spring onions (a good handful), some thyme leaves, and dried oregano.
My first challenge was over the Scotch Bonnet. I’ve not really used this before and was uncertain about quantities. I know it is a hot chilli but recipes for pudding (and rice and peas) refer to adding it but with no indication over quantity. I pondered putting a whole one in and then taking it out but settled on a small one chopped in to quarters. I figured it would add flavour to the dish and I could more easily remove it. In hindsight I should have gone with maybe half a small one and chopped it finely. I wanted a hint of heat but nothing more. I got it but had the jeopardy of someone getting an unwanted bite.
I seasoned it with plenty of salt and paper and a small dish of sugar. Finally I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 ounces of salted butter. The end result is a savoury sweet potato pudding with the consistency of set rice pudding. The savoury comes from the cooking process, salty butter, seasoning and the onion component. I let the mix rest for an hour and then added it to a buttered dish and covered it with foil. The instructions I read for those who are not steaming the pudding was to bake until the pudding can be pricked with a knife and the blade comes out clean. I decided to cook at 180 degrees and I didn’t want it to burn.
After 20 minutes I took out the dish and removed the foil for another 20 minutes. The colour darkened prettily and the smell is fantastic. The end dish was lovely. Ordinarily I’d take a photograph of the finished product but it was eaten very quickly. It’s definitely sweet but it has a deep savouriness which goes well with a lot of things. It was thumbs up and the table even though I though some people wouldn’t give it a try. I would serve it with sausages, beef or chicken. I would probably add a touch less oil to get the final dish drier. We’ll definitely be having it again.