Yes, yes, I realise the picture looks like a bowl of squishy brains, but as this is my 2021 Christmas pudding, I can’t photograph the finished product until Christmas Day. By then, it will be too late to make a 2021 Christmas pudding, so at least the picture gives you a clue as to how it should look before it is steamed for six hours. And I made this pudding just as the news filled with stories of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, so I have probably waved the curse bone at Christmas by enthusiastically making a pudding to feed about 11 people in the north of England. Oh well, if Christmas is cancelled for the second year in a row, there will be plenty for my husband and I, as well as some to treat any neighbours who might also be stranded in London.
This pudding aims to please those who say they don’t really like Christmas pudding. The main reasons for this seem to be that it’s too heavy, too dense, too much after eating roast turkey and a pile of vegetables, and people don’t really dig desserts that are full of currants. So, this Christmas pudding ditches the currents and mixed peel for festive berries and cherries. This gives a pleasing pinkish tinge to the batter and the glace cherries are like little pieces of stained glass throughout.
To ensure the pudding is a bit more cake-like and less like a squishy, dense slab that could double as wall insulation, I’ve used golden breadcrumbs (or panko breadcrumbs work well), golden caster sugar, instead of mountains of brown sugar and a little coconut essence. Coconut chips and flaked almonds keep the texture interesting.
And affordability is important at Munching Matilda – among the ingredients are tinned raspberries, tinned black cherries and glace cherries, all from Asda. Tinned fruit works really well here as it’s never dry and it keeps really well, especially after it has been soaking in brandy. I had my berries and cherries soaking in brandy for a week before I made the Christmas pudding last night, but if time is tight, an overnight soaking will do the job.
Presuming we will be able to travel up north for Christmas this year – yes, I do have a special method for transporting Christmas pudding in a Volkswagen Polo – I will be serving it with brandy cream cheese ice cream for the adults. Click here for the Nigella-inspired ice cream. And for the kids, I’m thinking popping candy ice cream…