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Monthly Archives: December 2014

It’s Christmas!

I’ve been having a bit of break from the bloggin’ world for a little while as I was off fighting with giant anaconda & crocodiles for a tongue-in-cheek style movie; playing a rather fun, evil villainess character! My husband and I have also been designing our narrowboat which is going to be built in January 2015! Exciting and busy times ahead!

Before I forget: Merry Christmas to you all and may you have a very prosperous, happy and healthy new year! 🙂

Here is my Christmas pud recipe. I tested it for the first time last year and this year I feel it’s time to shout about it because it was really rather delicious!  My Christmas inspiration brings forth a big batch of mincemeat which can lend itself to stuffed baked apples or topping for natural yoghurt or little pies. It is also the main ingredient in my pud!

Buying dried fruit in bulk is often cheaper. I also think it’s worth looking for the most naturally dried fruits: just check the label for any added extras.  These recipes can easily be halved when catering for small gatherings.

Mincemeat: Fills 2 large 1.5l kilner jars…

500g dried currants

200g dried apricots, chopped

250g dried cranberries

200g dried prunes

500g dried date paste (soak the dates for a couple of hours and then blitz in the food processor to a smooth paste)

250g goat butter, frozen and then grated

juice and zest of 1 large orange

juice and zest of 2 clementines

100g chopped mixed peel

1/4 pint of brandy

1/4 pint of Cointreau

500g Macadamia Nuts, chopped

2 tsps mixed spice (I like to add an extra 2 tsps cinnamon)

Method:

Prep the ingredients as described. Add to a very large mixing bowl and get stuck in with the mixing! Store in the sterilized kilner jars and place in the fridge ready for use!

I love stuffing the mixure into large, cored cooking apples (make sure you score them around the circumference to stop them exploding!) and baking them in a deep roasting tray with a little water and foil to cover them (160C for about 45 minutes). I don’t add any extra sugar as the mincemeat is very sweet with all the dried fruits. Serve it with coconut cream or natural sheep yoghurt and, if needed, add a little extra sweetness with a drizzle of maple syrup!

Here is the Christmas pud recipe:

This can be made well in advance as long as it is sealed well and stored in a cool dry place. Equally, there’s no harm in making it on the big day if you haven’t got too many other cooking chores going on! It is super rich with the cacao element so this pud will stretch far!

Serves 10

Ingredients:

2lbs mincemeat (from the recipe above there will be plenty left over for other festive treats too!)

1 grated cooking apple

2 tbsps coconut oil, melted

2 tbsps pysllium husks, mixed with a splash of water to form gel-like consistency

3 level tbsps of GF brown bread flour (or coconut flour – whichever you prefer)

200g ground almonds

6 free-range eggs

2 tsps cinnamon

75g grated cacao from solid block (halve this if using ground cacao powder)

2.5 tsps bicarb of soda

1 tsp vit C powder

splash of brandy for setting it alight to serve!

Method:

Line and grease a large pudding basin (mine is big, it is 12cm in height and 19cm in width! This size takes about 3 pints I believe…) &  making sure there is enough parchment to go over the top of the pudding to ‘tuck it in’. I find cutting a few slits around the edge helps to sort of pleat and fold the paper to fit around bowl.

Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl apart from the vitamin C and the bicarbonate of soda. You can mix the ingredients by hand but a dough hook on an electric mixer gets everything integrated really efficiently and keeps the batter nice and light. Finish by adding the vitamin C and the Bicarbonate of soda and giving it a quick whizz through.

Pour the mixture into the basin (making sure there is about an inch space from the mixture to the top of the basin for growing room!) and tuck the baking parchment over the top – not too tightly. More firmly wrap the foil over the top and tie a string around the rim of the bowl. It’s worth attaching a loop (via the string already in place) over the top of the basin to act as a handle, making it easier to pull out of the saucepan (and saving your paws) once it’s cooked. Poke a couple of holes into the foil with a skewer to allow for air flow as the pud cooks. Then place the basin into a large saucepan (filled 3/4 with water when basin is inside). Put a lid on and bring to the boil and simmer for about 3.5-4 hours, making sure the water doesn’t boil dry. The pudding will have expanded and will feel firm to the touch. If cooking and eating on the day leave in the basin to cool a bit before turning out. To heat a pre-cooked pud put it back into a saucepan water bath and simmer for about 1 hour with the lid on. Decorate the serving dish with holly, drizzle the pudding with brandy and set alight. Serve with coconut cream or brandy-infused custard (I make custard with coconut milk, egg yolks and sweeten it with agave syrup).

Enjoy!

I will be posting pictures at a later date!