I welcome you all to The Seventh Bake of Christmas. What’s that I hear? The 7th bake on the 7th of December? Well what a mightily beautiful coincidence. Completely by accident….but it’s making me grin.
My family (i.e. myself and my mother) have always been super organised when it comes to christmas, and “Stir-up Sunday” is a vital part of this organised christmas tradition. For those of you who don’t know, Stir-up Sunday is a British tradition occurring on the last Sunday before Advent, whereby the family gather in the kitchen to make the Christmas pudding. Each person takes a turn to stir the pudding mixture and make a wish. I’m not sure how many families actually still do this, but mine do and I feel it really marks the beginning of the festive season.
What I do understand, though, and what I also mentioned in the second bake of christmas, is that not everyone is as organised as myself, or has the time to bake things like christmas puddings, which require hours and hours of time and patience. So – as part of this festive baking venture I am on, I have tried to find speedy alternatives to recipes which would usually take a million units of time to make. Today I tackled the mighty xmas pud. We all need figgy pudding, so this speedy alternative, while not quite as rapid as the mince pies, takes a mere 2 hours. Relative to the normal xmas pudding prep/cooking time, I assure you this is “quick”.
For these – I have consulted with good old Delia. Delia’s Happy Christmas book to be more specific. Who doesn’t love a bit of Delia at Christmas? She is fabulously festive. These mini puddings are portioned per person – kind of like those supermarket sticky toffee puddings that we all know and love. They are ideal for a dinner party and, while lighter and less intense, have all the flavours of the traditional pud. I whipped up a quick rum sauce to go with this. Mum and I gobbled it up after its photoshoot. Mmmmmmm. So festive! Merry baking y’all!
Preheat oven to 160°C
4 x 175ml pudding basins
60g self-raising flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn grounded mixed spice
1 medium egg
25g softened butter
40ml black treacle
55ml dark stout (Guinness works well)
1 tbspn dark rum
40g green apple (Bramley if you can find one!) peeled, chopped & finely diced
10g roasted chopped hazelnuts
zest of 1/2 orange
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/ Sift flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a medium bowl. Add egg and butter.
2/ Measure the treacle into a measuring jug – I recommend running the spoon under hot water before doing this to minimise sticking – then mix in the stout & rum.
3/ Add treacle mixture to flour mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.
4/ Add apple, nuts, currants, mincemeat, lemon zest and orange zest. Mix together and divide into the four well-buttered 175ml pudding basins.
5/ Top with a small circle of buttered baking parchment, and fully wrap each basin in a pleated piece of foil (see picture).
6/ Place puddings in a baking tray or oven proof dish, and carefully pour in boiling water until 2.5cm in depth. Bake for 45-50 minutes until puddings are firm, but springy to the touch.
7/ Once out of the oven, unwrap the puds and remove the circle of baking parchment. Leave to cool before running a knife round the edge, turning out onto a festive plate, and topping with christmas rum sauce (recipe below).
Christmas Rum Sauce
60g plain flour
570ml whole milk
4-5 tbspns dark rum
1 tbspn double cream
1/ Whisk butter, flour & milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until just thickened.
2/ Turn heat right down, add sugar and leave to cook for 10mins.
3/ Add rum & cream and mix until fully combined.
4/ Serve immediately.