Thursday 26 December 2013

Have you had your Christmas pudding fix ?!

Are you sick of festive food yet or do you still want more?! I've seen lots of you showing off your Christmas puddings on twitter and Facebook but I've also seen many of you expressing regret - either that you bought your pudding instead of making one from scratch and that it didn't taste as good, or that you didn't bother at all and that you felt as if your Christmas meal was missing something. Well, if you fancy catching up, how about trying one of these beauties ?


Lyle’s Golden Christmas Puddings

Sparkling gilded Christmas puddings that make a dramatic and opulent ending to the festive meal. (Edible gold flakes can be found in cake decorating shops.)

Makes: 6
Prep time: 50 minutes
Soaking time: 3-4 hours
Cooking time: 1¼ hours

for the Christmas puddings:

50g (2oz) golden sultanas
75g (3oz) currants
75g (3oz) raisins
60g (2½oz) dried apricots, finely chopped
60g (2½oz) dried mango, very finely chopped
50g (2oz) mixed peel
40g (1½oz) flaked almonds, roughly chopped
60ml (2½floz) brandy or orange liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g (4½oz) unsalted butter, softened
40g (1½oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup
40g (1½oz) Lyle’s Black Treacle
95g (3½oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Light Muscovado Cane Sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
75g (3oz) plain flour
150g (5oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

for the brandy butter :

125g (4½oz) unsalted butter, softened
95g (3½oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup
2 tbsp brandy or orange liqueur

to serve :

6 tbsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup
edible 23 carat gold flakes or dust
few sprigs holly

You will also need 6 x 125ml (4½floz) greased pudding basins.

Combine all the dried fruits and nuts in a mixing bowl, add the brandy or liqueur and the vanilla. Mix well, cover and leave to soak for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Beat the butter, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and treacle and the Tate & Lyle sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer for 5-8 minutes until light and creamy. Add the eggs little by little, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour over the fruit mixture and stir well to ensure all the fruit is coated in flour. Add to the creamed mixture along with the breadcrumbs and stir well to combine.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan150°C, 325°F, gas 3.

Divide the mixture between the pudding basins and smooth the tops. Place in a deep baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the tin. Cover with a sheet of buttered parchment paper and then some foil.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1¼ hours or until firm when lightly pressed in the middle.

Make the brandy butter by creaming the butter and Lyle’s Golden Syrup together until very soft. Gradually beat in the brandy or liqueur. Spoon into a serving bowl.

Remove the puddings and leave for 5 minutes before turning out onto warm plates.

Gently heat the Lyle’s Golden Syrup in a small pan until hot then brush all over the puddings. Sprinkle with gold flakes, decorate with holly and serve with the brandy butter.

Do ahead :

You can make the puddings and the brandy butter 1 month ahead and freeze them in a lidded container. Alternatively, make both 3 days ahead and store in the fridge. To reheat, place the pudding basins in a shallow saucepan half-filled with boiling water, cover with foil and steam for about 20 minutes or until hot. Or microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot.


Sad to see the decline of the traditional Christmas pudding, Lyle's created a countrywide campaign in the run up to Christmas – Bake, Eat and Be Mary - and  recruited an army of Mary Christmases from the length and breadth of the British Isles to share their traditional Christmas pudding recipes.

I was stunned to learn that under half (47 per cent) of Brits know that a Christmas pudding needs to be steamed rather than baked, and just 60 per cent could identify the correct base ingredients which make the pudding. When presented with a list of possible ingredients for inclusion in the recipe the lack of knowledge surrounding the tradition was clear as one in ten (10 per cent) believed cocoa powder should be included in the traditional pudding mix.

More information about the Bake, Eat and Be Mary campaign, along with profiles and recipes from many of the Marys involved can be found on Lyle's Golden Syrup website.

If you've got leftover Christmas pudding and don't know what to do with it, try breaking it up and mixing it into ice cream for a lighter festive dessert. There are other totally decadent recipes on the Lyle's website that I might just have to try - Rich Chocolate Mousse with Popping Candy sounds fun and the Jewelled Chocolate Drops look and sound great too.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Picture book review : Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps! - Nicholas Allan

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