Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Steamed Chocolate Date Pudding

If you want a traditional Christmas pudding, but you also want something chocolate, here's a possibility. This pudding is moist, rich and chocolately, but not overly sweet, so as to be able to support ridiculous amounts of hard sauce without your teeth running away screaming. If you don't want to serve hard sauce with it, I would double the sugar. Although if you want to serve it with, say, ice cream, I wouldn't.

I like the ginger in it, but I think I would skip the peel next time. It's not bad, I just think it could do without it. It depends how much you like candied peel, I guess. Or you could put in some other kind of dried fruit to replace it if you like. Just as a note, the dates pretty much dissolve and you wouldn't know they were there, except for the sweetness they add.

12 to 16 servings
1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours - 30 minutes prep time

Steamed Chocolate Date Pudding
1 1/2 cups finely chopped dates
1/4 cup canded peel (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped preserved ginger (optional)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
150 grams (6 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups soft unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup buttermilk or milk

Chop the dates and measure them, and measure the candied peel and ginger, if using.

Put the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler, and heat gently until both are completely melted. Stir regularly. Set aside to cool slightly.

Beat the sugar with the eggs and the vanilla extract.

Measure out the flour, and add the salt and baking powder.

Butter 4 large mouthed 500 ml glass canning jars, or a 2 quart pudding mold.

When the chocolate has cooled slightly, beat it into the sugar and egg mixture. Mix in half the flour, then mix in the chopped dates, and other bits, if using. Mix in the rum and the buttermilk. Mix in the remaining flour to make a smooth batter.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared jars or put it in the prepared pudding mold.

Cover the jars with a layer of parchment paper and a layer of aluminium foil, then hold them in place with the rings. If using a pudding mold, also cover it with a layer of parchment paper and foil, but you will need to hold it in place some other way, such as with string.

Put the pudding(s) in a steamer and steam for 40 minutes if in the jars, or about 1 hour and a quarter to 1 hour and a half if in a single mold. (Test with a toothpick or straw to be sure it's done, but don't over cook it. I would start checking at the hour point, just in case.)

If you want to seal them in the same way as the Christmas Puddings I made last year, take them out at the 30 minute mark to put the lids on then return them to the steamer for the final 10 minutes of cooking. More detail at the Christmas Pudding recipe. To keep one large pudding until Christmas or New Years, sprinkle it generously with more rum, then wrap in parchment paper and foil. Keep cool.

To serve, it's most easily reheated in the microwave. The small puddings reheat in as quickly as 3 minutes, but it will depend on your microwave and how hot you would like them.

No comments: