Chocolate, cherry Christmas pudding
1 ½ cups
2 Tbsp , sifted
½ cup brown sugar
2/3 cup each , , currants
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup milk
50gm salted butter
1 Tbsp treacle
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup (70gm) chopped chocolate
Brandy and Sabato candied fruit to decorate
Grease a 1.2 litre ovenproof bowl, or four 300ml bowls, with butter. Place flour, cocoa, sugar, fruits, spices and salt into a large bowl and stir.
Heat milk, butter and treacle in a small saucepan. Once the butter has melted, remove pan from the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Cool for 5 minutes then pour this liquid over the dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Lastly, stir in the chocolate.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pudding bowl/s; press down well. Cover pudding top/s with a circle of baking paper. Tightly cover the bowl/s with foil and tie it with string to secure.
Place the bowl/s onto a small rack set in the base of a large pot. Add boiling water to the pot to come half way up the sides of the bowl/s. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and set over heat so that water simmers and pudding steams. Allow 2.5 hours for large pudding and 1.5 hours for small puddings. Check every so often to see if the water needs topping up.
Remove the bowl/s from the pot, take off the foil and paper. Run a spatula around the edge of the bowl to release the pudding/s and invert onto a serving plate. Drizzle with brandy and decorate with candied fruits. Serve with vanilla custard and mascarpone cream.
Note: this pudding can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen pudding before reheating. To reheat pudding, either return it to a greased bowl and steam for 40 minutes, or microwave on high for 5-6 minutes.
Recipe by Julie Le Clerc & Trevor Dixon
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