Chocolate Crunch Christmas Pudding

If you are not insistent on sticking to tradition you can make this, which is not a Christmas pudding at all (it is crunchy and cold instead of soft and hot) but it looks perfect as an alternative on Christmas Day. It also has the advantage of being extremely quick to make and is much more popular than Christmas pudding with most children, and several adults too. It is expensive on chocolate but rich and filling and goes a long way.

Ingredients

For the pudding

  • 6 oz (150 g) butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons (3 x 15 ml spoon) golden syrup
  • 8 oz (200 g) plain chocolate
  • 6 oz (150 g) crushed ginger biscuits
  • 6 oz (150 g) crushed plain sweet biscuits
  • 1 oz (25 g) currants
  • 3 oz (75 g) raisins
  • 2 oz (50 g) glacé cherries - roughly chopped
  • 1 oz (25 g) candied peel
  • 2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoon) brandy or rum

For the icing and decoration

  • 3 oz (75 g) plain chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml spoon) water
  • 1 oz (25 g) butter or margarine
  • a little icing sugar, 2-3 halved glacé cherries and a sprig of holly for decoration

Method

Grease a 2-pt pudding basin. Gently melt and stir together the butter, syrup and chocolate in a saucepan. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and spoon into the pudding basin. Chill in the refrigerator until set. Then dip the basin briefly in hot water and turn the pudding out.

To make the icing, gently melt the chocolate with the water and stir until smooth, add the butter and stir until melted in. Cool very slightly and then ice the pudding all over with the chocolate. When cold, sprinkle a little icing sugar over the top of the pudding (to look like a sprinkling of snow!), stick in the sprig of holly and press the glacé cherries in a cluster round it. Keep in a cool place, but not in the fridge. Serve, with cream, cut into slices with a sharp knife.

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