Love it or hate it, the great British Christmas dinner would not be complete without a traditional, steamed Christmas pudding afterwards. The problem is that traditional, home made, steamed Christmas pudding can take a lot of time to prepare and to cook. And then when you’ve slaved over a pudding for days and cooked it for hours and hours, half the family (often the younger generation, but we aren’t pointing fingers) complain that actually, they don’t even like it. The thing is, much as we all know we should have a Christmas pudding for dessert on Christmas day, it has gained a bit of a Marmite-esq love-it-or-hate-it status.
So, as much as we wanted to keep the tradition alive, and make a Christmas pudding this year, our professional baker, Kate Moss, and my non professional baking self, decided to try and come up with something a little different that might appeal to a wider audience. We also wanted to come up with a recipe that could be made on the day, so as not to be a slave to a Christmas pudding for the next two months.
This quick Christmas pudding recipe offers all the fruity, boozy, gooey goodness of a traditional pud, but the chocolate and orange flavours add a fresh twist and taste absolutely divine alongside the mixed fruits and liquor. The rich dark chocolate and Cointreau sauce further enhances the flavours of the pudding and makes your Christmas dessert that little bit more indulgent.
For this recipe, we have used ready made mincemeat. If you do have the time, this can of course be replaced by home made mincemeat (but you can’t call it “quick” then I’m afraid).
Greaseproof paper or Muslin squares
175g fine cut marmalade
4 tablespoons treacle
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 2 oranges
3 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons Cointreau
100g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
200g dark chocolate chips
225g self raising flour
100g butter, frozen
For the Sauce:
300ml double cream
200g dark chocolate
Zest one orange and the juice of half
1 tablespoon Cointreau
1. Mix all the ingredients except for the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl, and mix well. Coarsely grate the frozen butter into the mixture, stir in, and then follow with the flour. Your mixture should be quite sloppy at this point and easily fall off a spoon.
2. Grease your pudding basin(s) with a little butter then line the base with discs of greaseproof paper and ladle in your pudding mixture.
3. Cover your pudding with greaseproof paper or muslin cloth, and secure with string.
4. Place your pudding basin(s) in a large saucepan, and pour boiling water around so that it comes halfway up the sides of the pudding basin(s). Cover the pan, and bring the water to a gentle simmer.
5. Steam this way for 1-2 hours if using smaller pudding basins, or 3-4 hours if making one large pudding. To check your pudding is ready, insert a skewer. If it comes out clean, your pudding is good to go.
6. While you are waiting for your puddings to steam, pour the cream into a saucepan and heat until almost simmering. Be careful not to boil your cream, though.
7. Remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate and the orange zest and half the juice of the same orange. Mix well.
8. Add a tablespoon of Cointreau and stir until smooth. If you want your sauce to be a little stronger, you can always add more Cointreau to suit your own taste.
When your pudding is steamed to perfection, turn it out onto a plate and dust with icing sugar, finish off with holly leaves if you want to be really Christmassy, and serve.
This recipe will serve approximately 8 people.
Recipe by Kate Moss