k Ibiza Inspired Christmas Pudding k
I have to admit I haven’t made a Christmas pudding in quite a few years; I do tend to get sucked in by my favourite foodie magazine and their star ratings for pre-made Christmas puddings. I liked the Heston Waitrose one with the whole orange in the middle and one recent year it was an incredible M&S delight…rich with sticky figs and a delicious contrast of ‘nutty bits’ that stood out from the crowd for me.
So with that in mind this year I decided to make a special ‘Ibiza style’ Christmas pudding – not because there are no M&S, Waitrose or Fortnum & Mason here, but because there are so many incredible fruits, nuts, spices and other magical ingredients that can be found and used.
I have extensively researched the ultimate Christmas pudding recipe and I called upon my good friends at the British Larder for some inspiration – superstar chef Madelene Bonvini-Hamel has perfected her award-winning recipe so I decided to follow hers and tweak it a bit with some Ibiza magic! Using home dried figs (from my tree), a special local artisan ale with carob and brandy of course…
…Ibiza almonds for that delicious nutty texture, some incredible sweet candied oranges that I happened to stumble across in the market…
…and finally a good sprinkle of organic raw cacao for that deep rich hint of chocolate. I’ve kept out the currants this time- I’m not a huge fan as I find them slightly bitter, I am happy that the ale will already provide the required bitterness and I don’t want to upset the balance.
To get a deeply rich (and boozy) Christmas Pudding you ideally need to begin a good six weeks before Christmas. In that time you need to ‘feed it’ with brandy every week which allows the pudding time to develop, mature and become perfecto.
I will only know until the big day whether it’s going to be a success, but with the magical ingredients and the love that I have given it, I’m quietly confident it will be a 5 star winner! If not I will just smother it with homemade brandy sauce and a good dollop of Haagen-Dazs – ho ho!
70g fresh breadcrumbs (sourdough preferable)
60g vegetable suet
2 tablespoons spelt flour (or strong bread flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon raw cacao (or coca powder)
100g soft dark brown sugar – or raw can sugar
60g mixed berries (or currants or raisins)
50g dried cranberries
100g dried figs
1 tablespoon chopped mixed peel
60g toasted whole almonds – roughly chopped
1 apple grated (you can leave skin on)
1 orange – finely grated zest and juice
1 tablespoon brandy (and much more for ‘feeding the pudding)
80ml dark ale (I like to used an Artisan Ibiza Ale with carob)
- In a large put all the dry ingredients; breadcrumbs, suet, flour, fruit, sugar, cacao, spices, and fruit.
- In a separate bowl put the egg, brandy, ale and orange juice.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir thoroughly with a fork
- Cover the bowl and put into the fridge for two days to mature
- After two days grease a 1 litre pudding basin and pour the pudding mixture into the bowl and level it out.
- Cut a piece of baking paper and place on top of the pudding mixture, now cover tightly with foil and secure the rim with string to make it water tight. Also tie a handle (like when wrapping a parcel – you will need this to help lift it out of the steaming pan)
- If you have a steamer place inside and steam for 4 hours, if not you can use a large saucepan. Firstly place a saucer upside down on the bottom of the pan and place the pudding bowl on top – pour boiling water to come half way up the side of the pan and then cover with a lid and steam for 4 hours regularly checking the water level and topping up if it gets low.
- Carefully remover the pudding from the pan and leave to cool, remove the foil and make small holes in the pudding using a skewer, pour over 4 tablespoons of brandy.
- Put a fresh circle of baking paper on the top of the pudding and then tightly cover the top with foil
- Now do the same once a week but this time but with 2 tablespoons of brandy.
- On wonderful Christmas day itself steam the pudding as you did on the second day – for approx. 2 hours until warm through (you can microwave for 5 minutes – obvs without the foil and only the paper – allow to rest)
- For the grand finale gently heat approx. two tablespoons of vodka or brandy in a small sauce pan and pour over the pudding and set alight…watch the delight of your family and friends – I like to serve with brandy sauce AND vanilla ice cream!
A Very Merry Christmas from LoveFoodIbiza xxx