ABC Talkback today – Tipsy “dried-fruit-free” Christmas Pudding

Apparently it’s not uncommon for some people not to like the taste or texture of dried fruit, so Christmas Pudding is a no-go area for them.

However, there’s no need to miss out on the traditional flavours of brandy, spices and the experience of the traditional Christmas pudding with this adaptation, a very much acceptable alternative (invented this week).

Tipsy Ginger Christmas Cake (no dried fruit)

100g butter, softened

200g soft brown sugar

125ml treacle

3 eggs

60ml cream + 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice

180g self raising flour

3 teaspoons cocoa

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

70ml brandy

For the syrup

130ml brandy

100g sugar

4 thin slices of fresh green ginger root

¼ teaspoon mixed spice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

Pinch grihd cloves

Pinch grund cardamom

Grease a 1 litre pudding basin, line base with a circle of baking paper, then grease again.  

Bring 3 cm water to the boil in a large pot.  Keep tis hot (but not boiling) while you prepare the pudding.

In a large bowl, whisk the butter, sugar and treacle together until light and fluffy, then whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Fold in the sifted dry ingredients and finally the brandy.

Transfer the mixture to the pudding basin to two thirds full.  If there is a little leftover mixture, cook this in greased muffin tins (filled to a little more than half way – bake at 170 degrees C for 15 minutes – these can serve as tasters for the cook).

Cover the pudding basin with two layers of foil and then tie under the rim with string.

Bring the water in the pot back to the boil.  Place the pudding basin in tis and once the water is bubbling nicely, reduce heat to a simmer, place the lid on the pot and cook the pudding for two hours.  Check the pot every now and then to see if the water needs replenishing.  If so, pour boiling water around the pudding, not cold, and continue to simmer.

Meanwhile to make the syrup, heat the ingredients together in a small saucepan, stirring.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 12 minutes (without stirring this time). 

Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the ginger slices.  Keep warm.

Once the pudding is cooked, remove from the pot and leave to stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Place the cake on a serving platter, pierce in several places with a skewer and brush or spoon the syrup over.
Spoon or brush the syrup all over the pudding and leave to air dry.

Warm the pudding again before serving with custard flavoured with brandy and/or vanilla ice cream.

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