Mini Christmas Puddings with Brandy Crème Fraîche

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12

Appears in

Home Made Christmas

Home Made Christmas

By Yvette van Boven

Published 2018

  • About

A real Christmas pudding you need to start in October. And it should be done on “stir-up Sunday”: That’s the day that everyone starts their pudding. The joke is that the steamed cake should be drizzled with liquor for weeks to come until Christmas. Not only does this preserve it, but the flavor also intensifies enormously.

If you didn’t think to make it in advance, or simply don’t have time to tend a pudding for two months, you can do it like this. Because you make these mini puddings in muffin tins, they are ready more quickly and you immediately have a lot of them. This is the most delicious dessert ever, and it’s ready before you gather at the table. Very relaxed.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (125 ml) brandy or cognac
  • Heaping 1 cup (150 g) raisins
  • Heaping 1 cup (150 g) currants
  • Heaping cup (75 g) succade (preserved or crystalized fruit), chopped
  • ¾ cup (100 g) pitted dates, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey or syrup
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • ¾ cup (100 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon speculaas spices
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup (100 g) dry breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup (100 g) lightly packed brown sugar
  • cup (150 g) cold butter, cubed, plus more for the muffin tin
  • 2 eggs, beaten

For the Brandy Crème Fraîche

  • cups (300 ml) crème fraîche
  • 3 tablespoons brandy, or more if you wish to flambé
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Method

Prepare

Pour the brandy over all the dried fruit in a bowl. Mix in the honey and orange zest and juice. Ideally you’d let this stand overnight, but if you don’t have a night to spare, let it stand for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place a large roasting pan halfway filled with boiling water on a rack just below the middle.

In a bowl, stir the flour with the spices and salt with a whisk, then stir in the breadcrumbs and brown sugar. Rub in the butter with your hands until you get a coarse texture. Scoop in all the soaked fruit and the beaten eggs and stir well.

Butter a 12-cup muffin tin and fill the cups with the batter.

Cover the tin with a sheet of parchment paper and then wrap thoroughly in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Place the tray in the pan with boiling water in the oven and bake the puddings for 1 hour. Keep them wrapped until ready to serve.

Stir the crème fraîche and then stir in the brandy and confectioners’ sugar. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

Make

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Unwrap the puddings and reheat in the oven for 20 minutes. Invert them on the counter and arrange on serving plates. Flambé if you wish (see instructions opposite). Scoop a dollop of crème fraîche alongside each and serve immediately.

Flambé?

Heat a few inches of very strong liquor (like cognac, or something with more than 40% alcohol) in a saucepan. Place the cakes in a safe spot, but so that everyone can see them, and turn off nearly all the lights (you still have to be able to see what you’re doing). Hold a lighter above the pan and use a wooden ladle to carefully spoon the burning liquid over the puddings.