Chocolate Cherry Christmas Puddings
1 ½ cups Girolomoni organic ‘00’ flour, sifted
2 Tbsp Valrhona cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup soft brown sugar
2/3 cup each raisins, sultanas, currants
½ cup glacé cherries
1 tsp Spice Trader ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
50g salted butter
1 Tbsp treacle
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup (70g) Valrhona Manjari chocolate, chopped
Candied fruit, to decorate
Grease a 1.2 litre capacity ovenproof bowl, or four 300ml bowls, with butter. Place flour, cocoa, sugar, mixed fruit, spices and salt into a large bowl; stir to combine.
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 mixture to 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 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 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 and Trevor Dixon