Christmas pudding is definitely a “Love it or hate it” thing. So with Stir Up Sunday coming up on the 22nd, I decided to create something that even Christmas pudding-haters will love…
My first thought was “Add chocolate!!!” and to make it even more festive, I paired it with orange to create a Chocolate Orange Christmas Pudding. How can anyone not love this combination?
Stir Up Sunday, for those who don’t know, is a British tradition for making the Christmas pudding.
This tradition dates back to Victorian times, held on the last Sunday before advent, when everyone in the household gives the Christmas pudding mixture a stir and makes a wish! This is my first year to follow this tradition and although my pudding is quite non-traditional, it’s been very satisfying to create my own Christmas pudding from scratch.
Whilst stirring the fruit, spices and liquor together, it’s very hard not to feel festive and uplifted…
- 60 g plain flour
- 3 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp xanthum gum
- 120 g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 150 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp ground mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Zest and juice of 2 oranges, approx 100ml orange juice
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- 80 ml water
- 4 tbsp contreau or brandy
- 1 tsp natural orange extract, optional
- 100 g dark chocolate chips
- 350 g brandy soaked mixed dried fruit & citrus peel*
- 100 g pitted dates, chopped into small pieces
You will also need
- 1 litre pudding basin/tin
- Greaseproof paper
- Tin foil
- String and scissors
- A pot large enough for the pudding basin
- A small trivet or heat-proof saucer
To prepare the pudding mixture
- If you can't get hold of ready-soaked mixed fruit, prepare it the previous day by adding the mixed fruit and peel to a bowl with approx 3 tbsp brandy. Leave overnight.
- Prepare a 1 litre pudding basin by greasing it with vegetable oil and placing a circle of greaseproof paper at the bottom.
- Mix the flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, xanthum gum, cocoa powder, sugar, breadcrumbs and spices together in a bowl.
- Stir in the orange juice and zest, vegetable oil, water contreau and orange flavouring.
- Fold in the dried fruits and the chocolate.
- Transfer the mixture to the pudding basin.
To steam the pudding
- Tear off a large square of the greaseproof paper and tin foil, placing the greaseproof paper on the bottom. Create a pleat by making a 1-inch thick fold in the centre of both layers.
- Place on top of the pudding tin and scrunch the foil around the sides to secure. Tie securely with a piece of string.
- Fold in the excess paper and foil to help make it water-tight.
- Create a handle by tying another piece of string to one side of the tin (where you made the knot from the previous string) and tying it on the opposite side so you can easily lift the pudding out of the pot.
- Place a trivet or upturned saucer at the bottom of the pot (I used a small heat-proof container lid) and place the pudding on top. Fill the pot half way up with hot water and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and leave to steam for 3 1/2 hours.
- After 3 1/2 hours, lift the pudding out of the pot and leave to cool for a few minutes, until the pudding starts to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Carefully, using a spatula knife, loosen the pudding from the sides and turn over onto a plate.
- This pudding can be kept, wrapped in the fridge, for up to 6 weeks.
- To serve, you can eat it as it is at room temperature, or re-steam it for 2 hours to serve warm. Add some melted chocolate sauce and a scoop of ice cream for Christmas dessert!