For the sponge:
- 225g/8oz unsalted butter
- 225g/8oz golden caster sugar
- 4 free-range eggs
- 200g/7oz self-raising flour
- splash full-fat milk
- 1 tsp stem ginger (from a jar)
- 250g/9oz cooking apples, peeled, cores removed, chopped
- 2 tbsp sugar
For the sauce:
- 150g/5½oz butter
- 150g/5½oz soft dark brown sugar
- 150ml/5½fl oz double cream
- 100ml/3½fl oz condensed milk
- 50ml/2fl oz calvados (optional)
- ready-made custard, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- For the sponge, beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy.
- Crack in the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg into the mixture until fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Fold in the flour until well combined. Add a splash of milk to loosen the mixture, as necessary. (NB: The mixture should be of dropping consistency.) Fold in the ginger.
- Place the chopped apples and sugar into a pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and is bubbling and the apple has softened.
- For the sauce, bring all of the sauce ingredients to the boil in a pan, stirring constantly to form a smooth sauce that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Spoon a little of the sauce into eight dariole moulds. Divide the cooked apple equally among the moulds, then spoon over the sponge mixture.
- Place the dariole moulds into a large, deep-sided roasting tray. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting tray to reach halfway up the sides of the dariole moulds. (NB: This is called a bain-marie.) Cover the tray with aluminium foil, then transfer to the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until the sponge has risen and is pale golden-brown.
- Turn out one sponge pudding onto each of six serving plates. Drizzle any remaining sauce around the edge of the plates. Drizzle the custard over the sponge puddings.