ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS PUDDING

If the traditional Christmas pudding to too rich and too heavy for you after dinner but you love the taste of the dried fruits and brandy then this easy pudding that can be prepared in advance is perfect for you. Its light and can be eaten with cream, ice cream, custard or my family favorite which is a sweet béchamel sauce made with soft brown sugar and brandy.
 
Ingredients for 8 people (depending on how full you are!!)
  • 150g chopped prunes
  • 225g minced dates
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda 300ml boiling water
  • 115g soft butter
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 140g self raising flour
  • 115g chopped walnuts
  • 115g glacé cherries
 
225g soft brown sugar 150ml cold water 150ml brandy
 
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
 
Put the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl with the boiling water and put to one side. Cream together the butter and 115g of soft brown sugar then beat in the eggs.
 
Fold the prunes, minced dates mixture, flour, walnuts and cherries into the creamed butter and sugar and your cake mixture is ready.
 
Pour this mixture into a greased dish the type you would use for a lasagne about 30cm x 20cm and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until it feels set to the touch.
 
Whilst this is cooking melt the 225g of soft brown sugar, 150ml cold water and 150ml brandy in a pan.
 
When the pudding is cooked remove from the oven and carefully pour oven all of the melted mixture from the pan. It may look like a lot but this is what will make it nice and sticky yet still light. Cover immediately with foil.
 
Your dessert can now be put aside in a cool place for a day or two.
 
To reheat the pudding simply put in a 180 degrees pre-heated oven for about half and hour with the foil. Serve hot with your sauce of choice.