After we made the Japanese knotweed syrup, we started thinking about what else we could use it for besides flavoring soda, drizzling over ice cream, and pouring over pancakes. Taking inspiration from maple syrup, we adapted the Maple Pudding Cake recipe to make Japanese Knotweed Pudding Cake, a self-saucing dessert.
I'll readily admit that this recipe looks weird when making it, pouring the syrup mixture over the top of the batter really is correct, it will cook its way to the bottom and thicken up nicely into the "pudding" layer. While you can use larger knotweed to make the syrup, try to harvest smaller, more tender shoots under 12" tall for the cake batter.
Japanese Knotweed Pudding Cake makes one 8" square pan or 9" pie pan
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c. milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk
1 c. sliced Japanese knotweed, leaves and tips removed
1 c. Japanese knotweed syrup
1 c. water
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1. Heat the oven to 350º F for a metal pan, or 325ºF for a glass pan. Grease the pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 c. sugar, salt, and baking powder and blend well. Mix in the milk or milk substitute, and stir just until combined, fold in the chopped knotweed.
3. Press the batter into the prepared baking pan.
4. Combine the Japanese knotweed syrup, water, 3 Tbsp. sugar, and butter or coconut oil in a saucepan, and heat just until the butter melts. Pour over the batter--it will look weird, do not stir it!
5. Bake 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the top has browned slightly.
6. Allow the cake to cool, the syrup mixture will now have sunk to the bottom and thickened, and should be scooped up with the cake to serve.