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!




(Serves 4-6)

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 sultanas

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 egg

1 tablespoon brandy (and much more for ‘feeding the pudding)

80ml dark ale (I like to used an Artisan Ibiza Ale with carob)


    1. In a large put all the dry ingredients; breadcrumbs, suet, flour, fruit, sugar, cacao, spices, and fruit.
    2. In a separate bowl put the egg, brandy, ale and orange juice.
    3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir thoroughly with a fork
    4. Cover the bowl and put into the fridge for two days to mature
    5. After two days grease a 1 litre pudding basin and pour the pudding mixture into the bowl and level it out.
    6. 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)
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Put a fresh circle of baking paper on the top of the pudding and then tightly cover the top with foil
    10. Now do the same once a week but this time but with 2 tablespoons of brandy.
    11. 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)
    12. 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