Christmas is rapidly approaching, and for me, I am lucky enough to mean that will bring the promise of late-night cooking, family visits, Christmas Pudding, a frantic car-trip or two, santa stockings, and a long reflection on the year that is about to slip by. Which, despite a seemingly lousy start to the year, and a major setback or two, has since evolved magnificently with the discovery of design, photography, a deeper love for cooking, and boxing- all of which have since consumed all of my time. When I am not cooking while discussing boxing, I am at boxing discussing what I will cook, or designing what I might cook, and so it goes on.
And as part of this intermingling of my interests, this year I was lucky enough to work with some of the coolest cats I know at Song of Oya, an Angelic Reiki healing studio and small batch soy candle company based in Canberra, to design their Christmas candle labels, one of which…*smooth segway here* is Christmas Pudding flavoured, and the recipe for this blog.
Just to clarify a little before starting, this blog post is NOT sponsored. After working closely on the design for this label, and smelling this candle, I began to want to recreate something that tasted as good as it smelled, something I have been known to do several times before, working like a good detective- without the cool hat.
So I set about finding out what ingredients were obviously in the pudding candle, discovering it had hints of vanilla, malt, coconut, orange, almond, honey, cinnamon, and clove. But, having never made a pudding before, only having ever consumed one (or two, or three), and having never thought of using malt before in one, I was a bit skeptical about my skills to make this work. My first attempt proved this point.
But a few variations later, and many hours of cooking in a now delicious smelling kitchen, I produced this little gem, which in all honesty, surprised me with its flavour. Standing apart from normal tradition of boiling over-night- preparing weeks before- this pudding is smaller, and quicker, meaning you can make it on the day. It also contains no brown-sugar which is so often a heavily used ingredient to make pudding’s sweeter, and can be eaten cold and warm. I included brandy in the recipe, however I would also recommend a brandy sauce with it, because Christmas pudding was made to be delicious. Hope you all have a lovely holiday wherever you are. X
P.S If you want to suss out more from Song of Oya, see this link
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOKING TIME: 2 hours
500g mixed fruit: sultanas/ raisins/ currants
300g pitted dates
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 orange zested
1/4 cup brandy
150g coconut flour/ wholemeal flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp rice malt syrup
1/4 cup diced almonds
option: 1 grated apple peel
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees fan-forced, and prepare the base of the mixture by chopping up the dates, and juicing and zesting an orange.
Then, by using a large sized saucepan, place dates, water, orange juice, orange zest, and brandy inside. Bring the mixture to a boil, ensuring you keep stirring so the mixture does not stick to the pan. Thus should create a thick paste after about 5 minutes, adding in mixed fruit when this has been formed, stirring again for several minutes.
Add spices, flour, malt, vanilla, chopped almonds, rice malt syrup, eggs, and apples if using. Mix until all the batter is formed together and covered.
Place this mixture into an oven-proof pudding dish. I prefer to make several small ones here, so you can share them around. Once filled, wrap the top with baking paper, then foil, and tie string around the sides to hold it in place.
Then get a deep baking dish and fill it halfway with hot, or boiling water, placing the covered pots inside the dish so the water comes up half-way. Cover the dish with baking paper, and foil, and place this into the oven to steam for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Serve warm.