For traditional Christmas puddings, the most convenient are those ready prepared from supermarkets. Below is an alternative, made separately in individual ramekins, which are quick and easy to make in a microwave (600w). Alternatively they can be steamed in the oven in a bain-marie.
500g mixed dried fruit
1/3 cup brandy
125g soft butter
130g dark brown sugar
2T golden syrup
2t vanilla essence
2t mixed spice
1t bicarbonate of soda
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
- Grease 12-14 x180ml microwave-safe ramekins (If not using a microwave, set an oven to 170°C).
- Place the mixed dried fruit in a bowl, together with the brandy.
- Place the butter, sugar, syrup and vanilla essence in a large bowl and cream the mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating continually, until just combined.
- Sift together the flour, mixed spice and bicarb. Fold the fruit mixture, grated apple and sifted ingredients into the butter/egg mixture, taking care not to over mix.
- Half fill the greased ramekins.
- Arrange half the ramekins around the edge of the microwave turntable, and cook, uncovered, at 600w for 10 minutes. Rotate the dishes and cook for a further 4-5 minutes on 600w, or until the centres are almost set. Allow to stand for a further 10 minutes so that the centres can firm up. Repeat with the remaining ramekins.
- Bake in a bain-marie in an oven at 170°C oven for 30 minutes, or until the centres are firm.
This is a classic brandy sauce recipe and is so delicious that you should make at least double quantities. It is just as delicious with a bought Christmas pudding, alternatively try it over grilled summer fruit or ice-cream.
60g butter, at room temperature
1 cups icing sugar
2 eggs, separated
- Cream together the butter, icing sugar, brandy and egg yolks.
- Place in a double boiler, bring to a simmer, whisking continuously, until it has the consistency of cream and is light and fluffy. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
- Beat the cream to soft peaks and fold into the butter/brandy mixture.
- Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, and immediately fold into the mixture. The sauce can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for at least 3 days.
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