I’ve got one word for you:
I mean, would you take a look at this pudding? Is it a stunner or what? And it’s mainly just a brown lump! That’s no easy feat! But it’s the taste that’s important. If you’re not a fan of traditional Christmas pudding, I totally understand, and *confession* I feel the same way.
It’s often too heavy, too rich, too dense and too packed full of chewy dried fruit. Well, Christmas pudding haters, hear that sound? It’s me galloping to the rescue, with this recipe.
This Christmas pudding has all the delicious, rich Christmassy flavours that are non-negotiable, but without the dessicated dried fruit, and dense gluey pudding surrounds. The dried fruit is a mixture of velvety prunes, caramel-scented dates and golden sultanas, which have all been soaked in Pedro Ximinez sherry. If you haven’t heard of it, PX sherry is basically Christmas in liquid form.
The dried fruit is then suspended in a batter made light with hazelnut meal, bread crumbs, and just the tiniest amount of flour, but that’s not all – cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and – wait for it – chocolate chunks, mean that the cake component of this pudding is nothing short of decadent.
As if a chocolate Christmas pudding wasn’t enough, I decided that plain old Hard Sauce or Brandy butter, as delicious as they are, well, they just weren’t cutting the mustard. It had to be salted caramel. Salted caramel…and whipped sour cream. It’s Christmas, baby!
The salted caramel cuts a swathe of buttery bitterness through the rich, aromatic pudding, and the whipped sour cream adds just the right amount of acidity, and feather-lightness. It’s…heavenly. Which is all too appropriate at this time of year!
So, can I tempt you, Christmas Pudding haterz? If I haven’t then believe you me, it’s my fault, not this pudding’s. This pudding, is a very special addition to my holiday recipe collection. I have a feeling we’re going to be friends for years.
Are you making an over-the-top dessert this Christmas? And have you tried whipped sour cream? I’m almost as in love with that as I am with this pudding…and the salted caramel…and all three of them together…
Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding with Salted Caramel and Whipped Sour Cream
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit
notes: The ingredient list looks long here, I know, but the method is SUPER easy. It’s a melt and mix recipe, and the steaming is not nearly as daunting as you think. Trust me, you can handle this, no problem.
For the pudding:
2oz/50g golden sultanas, or mixed dried fruit
1/3 cup/ 75ml Pedro Ximinez sherry, plus more for soaking
1/2 stick / 60g butter
1 1/2oz / 35g breadcrumbs
1 1/2oz / 35g hazelnut meal
2 tbsp / 15g cocoa powder
1 1/2oz / 35g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
50g brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 small apple, peeled and grated
1/4 cup / 65ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz/ 100g dark chocolate, chopped
Grease a 1 1/2 litre pudding basin. Place the dried fruit, sherry and butter into a sauce pan, and place the pan over a low heat. Cook this mixture slowly until the butter is melted and the fruits are soused with liquer, Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Place the grated apple, egg, buttermilk and vanilla into a small bowl and whisk together. Dump the buttery dried fruit mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Next, add the apple mixture and the chopped chocolate and stir until thoroughly combined, before pouring into the greased pudding basin, and smoothing the top. Cover the pudding basin with a layer of baking paper, and then a layer of tin foil, tying the sides in with string.
To cook the pudding, place it in a large pot, and fill with boiling water to come halfway up the pudding basin. Boil for 2 1/2 hours, topping the pan up with more boiling water regularly as it cooks. Once cooked, the pudding can be kept in a cool place or in the fridge for up to a month, believe it or not, and it just gets better with age. No matter how long you keep it, make sure you pour over a few tablespoons of extra sherry each day. To serve the pudding, steam it again for an hour and a half, before turning it out and serving with Salted Caramel Sauce and Whipped Sour Cream, recipes below.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes 1 cup / 250 ml
1 cup / 225g caster sugar
3 oz / 75g unsalted butter
1/2 cup / 125ml cream
1 tsp flaky sea salt
Place the sugar in a medium saucepan with a splash of water and place over a medium heat. Cook the mixture without stirring, until the sugar reaches a light copper colour – you can swirl the pan if it is not cooking evenly. Once the colour is right, take the pan off the heat and add the butter and cream in. It will bubble up furiously, but just stir gently until it settles in, before putting it back on the heat for another 30 seconds or so, or until it comes up to a bubble. Stir through the sea salt, and set aside to cool slightly before serving.
Whipped Sour Cream
2/3 cup / 160g sour cream
1/3 cup / 75ml double cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
Place all the ingredients into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form, adding more sugar to suit your taste.