December 15, 2018
Desserts, Puddings, Fruit,
Cherry, Raisin, Christmas, Entertaining, Potluck, Stove Top, Chocolate more
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"From our Saturday newspaper The Weekend West. Times are estimated."
Drain the cherries in a sieve over a bowl and cut them in half and peel pear, then coarsely grate.
In a large bowl, combine the cherries, pear, raisins, sultanas and brandy and stir well and cover with plastic wrap.
Heat in microwave on high for 3 minutes, then leave to cool for 5 minutes to let fruit plump up and break chocolate into squares while you wait.
Stir chocolate and butter into hot fruit until melted and then let cool, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, rub 1 tablespoon butter around the inside of a 1-litre pudding steamer.
Lay two sheets of foil over each other and butter the one on top and holding both sheets together, fold a 3cm pleat across the middle of the foil and set aside.
Beat eggs in a small bowl.
Sift the flour, mixed spice and cocoa powder on top of the chocolatey fruit, then add breadcrumbs, sugar and eggs and mix well – it will be quite a wet mixture and then spoon into prepared steamer and smooth over top.
Cover pudding with buttered foil (buttery-side down), scrunching it over the edge of steamer. Tie firmly with string to secure.
Trim foil so that a frill of about 5cm is left sticking out, then tuck the frill up and under itself neatly.
The aim is to keep the pudding watertight beneath.
Put steamer on a heatproof saucer in a large stockpot and add enough boiling water to pot to come halfway up the side of steamer and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and boil gently for about 2 hours, 30 minutes, or until pudding is cooked by inserting a skewer through the foil – if there is any wet mixture, steam for 15 minutes more, then check again and top up the water level as it cooks, if you need to.
To reheat, steam in pot for 30 minutes, or microwave, covered with plastic wrap on medium for 5 minutes.
For the sauce, break the chocolate into squares and place all the ingredients in a small pan and heat gently, stirring, until smooth.
Serve the pudding topped with extra cherries, sauce and dollop cream.
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