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Date and Marmalade Christmas Pudding


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Makes 14 slices

Ingredients:

Method:

  • 250ml strong black tea
  • 500g medjool dates
  • 150g natural colour glace cherries
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • 150g sultanas
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175g coconut oil
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 200g good-quality marmalade (include extra to brush on the cake)
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • 3 large eggs (beaten)

Nutritional Info:

You will need: 1 x 20cm/8-inch springform cake tin.

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/gas mark 2/300ºF. Using your springform cake tin as a template, cut out a baking parchment circle for the bottom, and then make a lining for the sides of the tin that is about 6cm/2¼ inches higher than the height of the tin itself. Do this by making a very long rectangular strip of baking parchment, then fold the long bottom edge in by about 2cm/¾inch, as if turning up a hem, then take a pair of scissors and snip into this hem at intervals as if to make a rough frill. Curl this around the inside of the tin, with the frilly edge flat on the bottom, and then sit your parchment circle on top of the frilled bit to hold it in place.
  2. Make your tea: I just pour 250ml/1 cup boiling water over a teabag, let it steep, and make sure I take out the bag before adding the tea to the pan. Remove the stones from the dates, and snip each date into 4 pieces, using scissors. Halve the glace cherries, also using scissors. Of course, you can use a knife if you prefer.
  3. Get out a saucepan that will take all the ingredients, including the tea, and put everything in it except for the almonds and eggs. Place on the heat, stirring to mix, and stir every now and again until it comes to a bubble. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The stirring not only helps the dates break up and “dissolve”, but it also keeps the heat even and stops the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan. After 10 minutes, take the pan off the heat and let the batter stand for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the ground and chopped almonds, followed by the beaten eggs, and when it’s all combined pour it into the prepared tin and even out the top with a spatula, then bake for 1½–1¾ hours. The sides will be coming away from the tin, and the cake, while squidgy, should leave only a slight stickiness (rather than any actual batter) on a cake tester.
  5. Remove to a wire rack, brush with about 3 tablespoons of marmalade and let the cake cool in its tin (if your marmalade is firm, you may need to warm it a bit first to make it brushable – 20–30 seconds in the microwave, or warmed through in a small saucepan should do).

Special Diets:

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