Christmas pudding with chocolate. 

Serves 6-8

I love Christmas pudding, but the children love chocolate pudding, this is a way to compromise and we all get what we want. A super decadent pudding that if served with dark fruits is like a luxury hot black forest. All my favourite Christmas puddings rolled into one, what’s not to like? It takes a bit of prep with soaking the fruit overnight but other than that a very easy pudding that can be made weeks in advance.

 

Ingredients

130g Glace cherries, chopped in half

60g Raisins

100g dates, chopped

30g currants

50g sultanas

50g cranberries

Zest and juice of a large orange

5 tbsp rape seed oil

4 tbsp water

2 tbsp brandy (Cherry brandy or spiced Rum also works well) If you do not want to use alcohol just add 2 extra tbsp of water.

1 tbsp date syrup

50g plain chocolate, grated

100g gluten free bread flour (I used doves farm brown bread flour)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp mixed spice.

Method

Place all the fruit in a bowl along with the orange zest and juice, water, brandy and date syrup, stir to combine, cover and leave to stand overnight to allow the fruit to plump up and absorb the liquid. The next day grate in the plain chocolate, add the mixed spices, oil and flour and mix with the fruit mix. Stir to combine, this is quite a sticky mixture. Grease the sides of a 1 litre pudding basin, transfer the mixture to the basin and press down and flatten. Cover the mix with two circles of baking parchment, then cover the bowl with silver foil, secure with string around the rim. Place the pudding in a large saucepan, half fill with boiling water, cover with lid and simmer gently for 4 hours. Keep an eye and top up with water as it gets low to maintain the water level in the saucepan. Remove from the water and allow to cool. Remove foil and parchment and replace with new before storing until needed. To serve, simmer the pudding for an hour, turn out onto your serving dish. Garnish with dark fruits or leave plain and serve with custard or ice-cream.