Sunday, February 3, 2008

Christmas Pudding

Melted butter, to grease
3.5 oz sultanas
3.5 oz raisins
3.5 oz dried pitted dates, chopped
3.5 oz dried whole dessert figs, chopped
2 oz dried apricots, chopped
2 oz glace cherries, chopped
2 oz mixed glace fruits (such as pineapple), chopped
1/2 cup brandy
4.5 oz butter, softened
3/4 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
2 eggs
4.5 oz good quality dark cooking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup canned pie apple
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbs brandy, extra, to serve

Brush a 4-cup capacity heatproof, microwave-safe pudding basin with melted butter to lightly grease.
Combine the sultanas, raisins, dates, figs, apricots, cherries and glace fruit in a glass or ceramic bowl. Place brandy in a heatproof, microwave-safe jug. Cover with plastic wrap and heat on High/800watts/100% for 1-2 minutes or until hot. Pour brandy over fruit mixture and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes to macerate.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large bowl until thick and pale. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate and fruit mixture, and stir until well combined. Add the apple, flour, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, and stir until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin. Cover with 2 layers of baking paper. Tie unwaxed white kitchen string under the rim of the basin to secure. Cook on Defrost/350watts/30% for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding comes out clean. Drizzle with extra brandy and set aside for 15 minutes. Turn pudding onto a plate and cut into slices to serve.

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