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The rich and heavy traditional Steamed Christmas Pudding or cake is a delicacy hard to resist. The long hours of steaming are intimidating, but the wait is worth a million.
The heady aromas of flavorful spices, exotic nuts, dried fruits, brandy, and fruit juices make this steamed Christmas cake almost irresistible. Quite easy to make, this egg less steamed cake can be stored in a cool dry place for several weeks or even months. Wish I could also store it for a few days, let alone weeks and months and devour the infused flavors of the spices in it. Alas.. every time I make this pudding, it goes to theHall of fame the very same day
The steamed version of Christmas cake is softer, moister and heavily aromatic than the baked version. It has a melt in mouth texture, since the moisture in the cake is retained while steaming as against the baked ones, which tend to be dry.
The steamed Christmas Cakes can be served in different ways. Some dust it with powder sugar, custard, butter, cream or the most traditional and exotic way is to douse it in brandy and set it on fire.
Christmas pudding needs some time to mature before all the flavors are infused into it, to make a real difference. This egg less recipe is from my moms kitchen, wherein I have added some extra exotic nuts and fruits which were unheard of during her times.
Caramelized sugar: This step needs to done very carefully, else the syrup will harden and you will get pralines instead of caramel. Heat a flat vessel and add the sugar into it. Keep the flames at low and let the sugar melt. Do not touch the pan while the sugar is melting.
Meanwhile heat half a cup of water. When the sugar starts to change color to dark brown, take off from the flame. Add the warm water slowly in it and stir to make a rich caramel.
Fruits & Nuts Mixed in any quantity to make 500 grms;
Soaking the fruit mix: Soak the dried fruits and nuts in orange juice for a day. I added 2 tbsp. of Brandy also. You can replace this with orange juice. Keep the soaked mix in refrigerator for overnight. The juice will get absorbed by the dry fruits and they will look plump and happy the next day
Assembling the Pudding: Take a large vessel and add the flour, fresh bread crumbs, salt, all the spice powders, Baking powder and baking soda into it. Mix it thoroughly.Add all the fruit mix and give a good stir to it.
Take another vessel and add yogurt, caramel, vanilla essence and oil into it. Pour this wet mix into the dry flour and fruit mixture.
Pour the batter into the greased pudding mold. Cover the mold with an aluminum sheet making a small fold for the pudding to rise. Secure the mold tightly with a thread.
Preparing the pudding mold: Take a 7-8 inch deep pudding molds and line the bottom part of it with a parchment paper. Grease the whole mold including the parchment paper.
Heat a pressure cooker with 10 cups of water inside. Place a metal mesh and keep the pudding mold on it. Cover the pressure cooker without the weight. Let the pudding cook for 2 hours on slow fire or till a knife inserted in it comes out clean.
The pudding is worth the wait. Dust it with powder sugar and enjoy the fruit of your labour! Err… patience must I say
Serve it hot with custard or any sauce of your choice, or just wrap it in an aluminum foil and keep it refrigerate it for a few days to let all the flavors get infused into this decadent Traditional Steamed Christmas Pudding.
- Caramelize the sugar for a few more seconds, if you like dark colored pudding, which is my favorite. Since my kids dislike the slight bitter and overpowering taste of dark caramel I did not do it.
- Add or subtract any fruits from the above fruit mix according to availability.
- Fresh bread crumbs give a very soft and slight chewy texture to this pudding recipe.
- Try garam masala as the spice powder for a different taste.
- You can bake the above cake mix in oven at 180 degrees C for 1 hour or till done.
- Want to steam this pudding without pressure cooker? Just take a large vessel and place the pudding mold in it. Fill the vessel with 10 cups of water and steam at low fire for 2 hours or till done.
- The Christmas Pudding stays good for several days when refrigerated. Reheat it in microwave before serving.
- I suggest you make this pudding often and not just as a festive treat. Being a low cal, with very little oil/butter, loads of fruits and nuts in it, this surely is a healthy delight for any time.
Festive greeting to all of you.