Christmas pudding has been around for a long time, recipes for a variation of this Festive dessert have been around since the 17th Century. Although, these recipes are very far removed from what we’ve come to know (rumour has it that there was once meat in the humble Christmas pud).
There are many recipes to choose from when it comes to stirring up (more on that later) this delicious concoction, but we think we’ve found THE ONE. In actual fact, we partnered with MasterChef The Professionals Finalist, Sven Hanson Britt to find the perfect recipe.
Introducing the Caorunn Negroni Christmas Pudding developed by Sven, the only recipe you’ll ever need from now on. You know that feeling of finding a recipe you’ll use for years, this is it. A twist on tradition, this will delight the senses with an infusion of Caorunn inspired botanicals and a well-balanced Caorunn Negroni.
As with all things Christmas, preparation is key here. The longer you leave your pudding to mature, the better. Harking back to Victorian times the family would gather together five weeks before Christmas for Stir-up Sunday. Think of this as your friendly reminder to pick up the ingredients the next time you’re in the supermarket, with Stir-up Sunday the 22nd November this year there’s still plenty time to get involved in the Festive Fun (we know it’s more than needed).
The dried fruit to be soaked
- 90g sultanas
- 90g currants
- 90g raisins
- 18g chopped glace cherries
- 18g mixed peel
- 22.5g prunes
The soaking syrup
- 25ml Black tea syrup infused with heather, apple and juniper
- 18ml Guinness
- 40ml Caorunn Negroni
- 15ml sherry
- 15ml dark rum
- 7.5ml cognac
The fresh ingredients
- 1 cooking apple – grated
- 20g carrot - grated
- 1 small orange, zest and juice
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 1 small egg
- 10ml milk (of your choice)
The dry ingredients
- 37.5g plain flour
- 16g ground almonds
- 50g dried breadcrumbs
- 37.5g dark brown sugar
- 5g sea salt
- 55g suet, veggie
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2g crystalised ginger, chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon juniper, powdered or crushed finely
- Baking parchment
- Tin foil
- First, 2 days before you want to make the pudding, make the soaking syrup by creating an infusion of strong black tea, a little heather, juniper berries and apple skin.
- Make a classic Negroni with the Caorunn Gin, Campari and Vermouth Rosso. Mix this with the black tea syrup and the other alcohols and pour it over the dried fruit. Leave this covered in the fridge to soak for 2 days, stirring occasionally. Stirring it whenever you open the fridge to get milk for your cup of tea is about the correct frequency.
- When you’re ready to make the pudding mix, place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and add in the spices. Then add the fresh ingredients. The milk you choose to use is completely up to your preference.
- Remove the soaked fruits from the liquid and add to the mix – retaining whatever juice and soaking syrup remains – you’ll need this later.
- Mix everything very well with your hands for a few minutes and pack it into a pudding basin, ensuring the top is flat and there aren’t any air bubbles inside.
- Cover the top with a perfectly cut ‘cartouche’ of greaseproof or silicon paper and then wrap the top with a tight fitting lid of tin foil.
- Let this sit in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Once ready to cook, prepare a pan suitable for your Bain Marie, place a small side plate into the base of the pan and half fill it with water. Place the pudding basin into the pan and make sure it sits well on the plate. Bring this water to a boil and drop it down to a simmer and simmer it for 5 hours, checking and replenishing the water when necessary. This stage can also be done really efficiently in a steam oven.
- Once the cooking is finished, allow it to cool in the pan before removing and storing in a cool and dark place.
- 24 hours after cooking, comes the time to make use of that excess soaking syrup. Remove the tin foil and greaseproof cartouche and pour the syrup over your pudding and allow all of that deliciousness to soak in. Replace the cartouche, discard the tinfoil, and then cling film the pudding and keep it somewhere cool until Christmas. This stage can be repeated as little or as often as you like. Every time you make a Caorunn Negroni, make a small one for your pudding and pour it over. It’ll lead to a very jolly Christmas!
- On Christmas day, heat your pudding in exactly the same way as you cooked it, but this time leave it simmering for 1 hour and it will be hot in the middle. Pour over another glug of Caorunn Gin before serving it at the table – becoming the coolest person in the whole house at that precise moment. Serve with loads of cold brandy butter and hot cognac and juniper crème anglaise.