Place the topping ingredients in a small pan and stir over a gentle heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour into two buttered
Place the apricots in a bowl with the bicarbonate and pour the boiling water over them. Leave to cool thoroughly. Cream the butter in a bowl with the caster and vanilla sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Sift the flour with the baking powder and fold in. Stir the apricot mixture into the batter and divide between the two pudding basins.
Cover each basin with foil and secure tightly with string, leaving long ends. Knot these to make a handle across the basin so that it can easily be lifted out of the steamer.
Place the bowls on trivets in a large pan and surround with enough hot water to come halfway up. Cover and steam for 1½ hours. Check every 20 minutes or so that the pan has not boiled dry and keep topping up with boiling water. Lift out of the water and turn the puddings out on to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately.