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Roly's Christmas Pudding

Roly's Christmas PuddingAlthough not in the newly published Roly's Café & Bakery cookbook (see Book Reviews), this is one of many treats currently on the Christmas menu at Roly’s Café. The cookbook does, however, include some very pretty cupcakes – and a mean biscuit cake - either of which would make nice little Christmas presents.

Makes 2 x 1lb puddings

175 g self-rising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
150g currants
225g raisins
425g sultanas
100g chopped dates
100g chopped dried figs
100g cherries
300g dark brown sugar
1 orange, grated rind & juice
1 lemon, grated rind & juice
half a carrot, finely grated
75ml brandy
glass of Guinness
250g white breadcrumbs
50g nibbed almonds
250g unsalted butter, melted but not hot
3 large eggs

Method

1. Sieve flour and spices together in a bowl

2. In another bowl or basin add all the dried fruit, sugar, lemon and orange rind and juice, grated carrot, all the alcohol; cover, and leave to soak (for best results leave for one or two days).

3. To make pudding: Mix the soaked fruit into the flour and breadcrumbs, add in the almonds and melted butter followed by the eggs

4. Mix using a electric mixer on a very slow speed, or have some fun and mix it with a wooden spoon.

5. Grease two pudding bowls and divide the mixture between the two.

6. Cover with greaseproof paper, wrap in cling film, put on the lid and wrap in cling film again, until securely wrapped.

7. Gently place the pudding into a pot of boiling water; be very careful not to burn your hands. Make sure the puddings are covered up to three quarters of the bowl, put on the lid and boil for 5 and a half hours; top up water regularly using a kettle.

8. Remove from the saucepan and allow to cool completely.

9. Remove the pudding from the basin and wrap in paper, then store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. [If you want you can add more alcohol or different types of nuts, eg. walnuts or hazelnuts.]

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