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I have a simple recipe for caramel pudding. It says to steam the pudding mix until it's set. It's a somewhat old recipe I've never tried before.

So, rather than steaming (which is very time consuming), can I use my oven instead? And what temperature and time would be preferable? Since the recipe only asks me to steam, I'm thinking of baking it for about 45 mins at 120°C.

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Are you using the "pudding" in the US sense of a custard also thickened with starch, or in the British sense of what in the US is called in general a dessert? By steaming, what exactly do you mean? You may wish to post the recipe. If it is a US-meaning pudding, and the steaming is stove-top cooking with contant stirring, yes, you can convert to baking, but you would have to determine the time based on the container size, and a water bath would be advisable. –  SAJ14SAJ Jan 2 '13 at 11:37
    
It's the latter. I'm gonna go with baking. :) thanks by the way. –  Sid Jan 2 '13 at 11:43
    
It sounds like squidoo.com/steamed-puddings, which are known for being steamed. I had a number of microwave versions when I was in the UK, complete with caramel sauce, as they were cheap and tasty. –  Yamikuronue Jan 2 '13 at 13:55

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I haven't seen your recipe, but from looking at others, steamed pudding takes on the order of a couple hours of steaming. Doing it in the oven won't be any faster or less boring than steaming it - it may even be slower, since heat transfer from steam is pretty efficient. 45 minutes at 120°C would probably leave it undercooked, and if you cook at a higher temperature, you'll be missing the point - steaming for a long time lets it cook slowly and more evenly. You could work out how to cook it hotter and faster, but it wouldn't be a steamed pudding anymore, it'd be a "normal" pudding.

If you want to do it in the oven, you should use a water bath to keep it from getting too hot - put the vessel with the pudding into a larger vessel, and add water to come most of the way up the sides of the pudding. Then you can increase the temperature of the oven, perhaps to 150-175°C, without overheating the pudding. But I doubt you'll be able to get the cooking time very much less than the original cooking time with steam without significantly changing the results.

Finally (thanks Elendil), steaming helps keep the pudding moist, and an oven even with a water bath is not a terribly humid environment, so it might still be drier than desired. Covering tightly, and possibly adding a tiny bit more liquid, might help with that.

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Steaming also serves to make the pudding very moist. Doubt you'd get that even with a bain marie –  ElendilTheTall Jan 2 '13 at 21:48
    
@ElendilTheTall I was thinking that, but the things I saw showed the pudding fairly sealed, so I wasn't sure how much moisture got in. –  Jefromi Jan 2 '13 at 21:57
    
@ElendilTheTall and Jefromi, thank you. will see what happens :) –  Sid Jan 3 '13 at 0:22
    
@Sid It will probably still be good, it just won't be quite the same as if you'd steamed it, so you might want to take the couple hours sometime so you know what to compare it to! –  Jefromi Jan 3 '13 at 1:48
    
It's not so much about moisture getting in as no moisture getting out. –  ElendilTheTall Jan 3 '13 at 15:17

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