If there's one thing that will prevent gens y and z from overtaking their predecessors in almost every way possible, it's this: the fact that golden syrup dumplings are missing from their lexicon. They are, incomprehensibly, totally out of vogue. I'm no child of the Depression, and these certainly hail from then, but there is so much more to them than mere economy. They are synonymous with childhood, with safety, with tenderness. Plus they are incredibly easy to make and quick to cook, whilst being perfectly fluffy and absolutely rolling in caramelly syrup. You don't even need an oven. So, if you have little people, or you just want to feel like one momentarily, make these. And watch the world get better.
220g (1 1/2 cups) self raising flour
150g (3/4 cup) soft brown sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) golden syrup
185ml (3/4 cup) milk
2 cups water from the tap
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
In a medium to large saucepan, put the water, 60ml (1/4 cup) syrup, essence and 50g butter. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer.
While you're waiting, put the flour and remaining butter into your food processor and pulse until combined. You can do this by hand, rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingertips, if you don't have a processor - it just takes a little longer. Now add the remaining syrup and milk, and pulse/mix to combine. If you have a sneaky taste, you'll find the batter not at all sweet, but don't worry - the syrup will be more than enough later.
Into your hot pan of syrup, now add the batter: using two dessert spoons, form little oval-shaped dumplings (or quenelles, if you're feeling French) and just drop them in. When they're all in (don't worry, they will fit) turn the heat down so the syrup is barely simmering. Cover with a lid and leave alone, happy in the knowledge that pudding is only 20-25 minutes away.
After that time, poke a skewer in - it should come out clean. The dumplings will be hot, fluffy and perfect.
Serve them swimming in the thick sauce, and with either cream or icecream for balance.