Tuesday, 17 November 2009
A Christmas Pudding Challenge
If you read any of the UK food blogs, you might have seen a few posts popping up featuring Matthew Walker Christmas Puddings, who kindly sent out their puddings in the hope that we would come up with some new ways to serve it.
I've never bought a Christmas pudding before as I really don't like all that dried fruit business going on in them (and anyway my mum has made my husband one for the last few years) but, I have to say, I've been converted!!! These puddings were soft, moist and quite delicious - and I can think of loads of ways to use them up, my brain is whirring with recipes which I'll gladly trade for Christmas puddings any time of the year!
I discovered that one of the best things you can do with a Christmas pudding is to turn it into decadent chocolate truffles - after all, who doesn't like a little sweet treat after their Christmas lunch? You can either use some leftover pudding, or use it straight from the container as it's already cooked. My truffles were laced with brandy and coated with cocoa powder or melted chocolate.
I also made some Christmas waffles with the pudding, which would be perfect for a Boxing Day breakfast.
Matthew Walker is the world’s oldest Christmas pudding maker, creating puddings in the heart of Derbyshire. The puddings contain the 13 core ingredients that were used to represent Jesus and his 12 Apostles, these being: raisins, demerara sugar, currants, glace cherries, stout, breadcrumbs, sherry, vegetarian suet, almonds, orange & lemon peel, cognac and mixed spices. The puddings come in two sizes, 454g - perfect for a family, and 100g individual size.
I like my truffles dusted with cocoa powder
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Truffles
114g/4oz good dark chocolate
60ml/2fl oz double cream
1 x 100g/3.5oz Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding
1/2 tablespoon brandy, optional
Extra chocolate for dipping (approx 50g/2oz) or good cocoa powder
Break the chocolate into squares and place into a glass bowl along with the double cream. Put into the microwave and heat gently for 1 minute. Stir and continue heating for 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each burst in the microwave until the chocolate and cream has come together. You can also melt the chocolate and cream in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water.
Crumble in the Christmas pudding, add the brandy and stir until everything is combined, leave to cool. When cold, put into the fridge for a couple of hours until the truffle mixture has firmed up.
Remove from the fridge and scoop small amounts out with a teaspoon, shape into balls and put on a plate in the fridge.
Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of heated water, or melt in the microwave stirring every 15 seconds or so. Leave to cool slightly before dipping the truffles into the chocolate to coat. Just coat 1 or 2 truffles at a time, removing from the chocolate with a fork and place on baking parchment or a silicone sheet to harden.
If you are using cocoa powder to dust them, put a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder into a bowl and gently swirl the truffles in the powder until coated.
Keep the truffles in the fridge until ready to serve as they contain fresh cream and are best served cold. They will keep for 3-4 days. Makes about 20, depending on the size.
I also made some delicious waffles - just add some of the pudding to the waffle batter and stir thoroughly before cooking in the waffle maker according to your maker's instructions.
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