Make: Chocolate Orange Christmas pudding

Happy Stir up Sunday!

Today is the last Sunday before advent which is traditionally the day to make your Christmas Pudding, so the fruits and flavours have time to develop and mature ready in time for Christmas Day. Rather than a traditional spiced Christmas Pudding I’ve decided to try something a little different this year, Chocolate Orange Christmas Pudding. Chocolate and orange prove to be a winning flavour combination in many recipes and it certainly works here too, the recipe is based on a traditional christmas pudding but i’ve taken out the spice, replaced this with chocolate and the brandy is replaced with Cointreau. I’ve also added some ground almonds to make for a richer, nuttier Pudding. This recipe makes 3 16cm Christmas puddings, i’ve made a couple extra to give away as presents. Because Christmas Puddings need to cook very slowly and gently in a Baine Marie they take a little while to make and bake, but there really is nothing better than serving up a Christmas Pudding you have made yourself on Christmas Day! Even if you have missed stir up sunday, it’s not too late to make your Christmas pudding. I’ll be making another batch of these puddings next weekend due to popular demand! To make A Chocolate Orange christmas pudding the first step is to place the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 175g golden syrup
  • 60g Cointreau
  • 165g sultanas
  • 165g rasins
  • 60g currants
  • 60g stem ginger- chopped
  • the zest of one orange
  • 120g glace cherries

These ingredients need to be left overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours so the fruit can soak up the alcohol, this will help keep the Pudding moist and adds bags of flavour to the finished Pudding. To make the rest of the christmas pudding you will need:

  • 3 16cm pudding basins (Lakeland have an amazing selection!)
  • 1 large roasting tray
  • greaseproof baking paper
  • tin foil
  • string
  • 55g dark chocolate
  • 85g brown sugar
  • 203g unsalted butter- at room temperature so it is soft
  • 2 eggs and one yolk
  • 76g plain flour
  • 33g cocoa powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 120ml milk
  • 75g Toasted flaked Almonds
  • 2-3 teaspoons of Cointreau

Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees c or 130 degrees for a fan assisted oven, melt the chocolate  by placing it in a non metallic bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Once the chocolate is melted take the bowl out of the saucepan and set aside. prepare the puding basins by lightly greasing them with a little butter. Crack the eggs into a measuring jug, sift together the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer cream together the soft butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Slowly begin to add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mix looks likely to split add a tablespoon of the sifted flour and cocoa mix to help bind. Once all the eggs are well incorporated fold in the sifted flour and cocoa, add the milk gradually, stirring well after each addition. Next stir in the melted chocolate, ground almonds, breadcrumbs, the pre soaked fruit and lastly the  flaked almonds.

Make sure every member of the household gets an opportunity to stir the pudding mix and make a wish!

Divide the pudding mix equally amongst the three pudding basins, the puddings are to be cooked very gently and slowly in a baine marie, some pudding basins are available with lids but a homemade one can be constructed by laying a sheet of tin foil shiny side down onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Cut a rough circle about two inches larger than the pudding basin, make a fold in the middle of the circle and place on top of the pudding basin. fold down the edges and fix in place with a length of string to make the pudding basin water tight, the pudding wants to be very moist but not soggy! Boil the kettle, place the puddings into the roasting tin and transfer to the central shelf of  a pre-heated oven. Pour the boiled water from the kettle into the roasting tin so the water level covers the pudding basins to about 2/3 of the way up. This method provides a very even, gentle bake for the puddings. The result is a very moist pudding. The puddings will take around 4 hours to bake, once this time is up remove the lid from the pudding and gently press the surface of the pudding, if it is firm and springs back to the touch the pudding is ready, if your finger leaves a mark the pudding will need a further few minutes. Once baked allow the pudding to cool completely. Cover the pudding with a clean foil lid and store  in a cool dry place until Christmas day. It will need re-heating as per the above baking method at the same temperature for an hour or so, until piping hot.

I’m feeling pretty festive now the puddings are baked!

How are your Christmas preparations going?

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21 thoughts on “Make: Chocolate Orange Christmas pudding

  1. bakearama says:

    I don’t normally eat Christmas pudding (although I love Christmas cake), but chocolate, well that might just swing it for me…!

    • makedospend says:

      I’m not a big fan of the original either, and although i’m slightly nervous at having adapted it i’m hoping this non traditional approach will be a hit on Christmas day!

  2. Laura says:

    This sounds amazing! I’m the same with Christmas pud but chocolate orange would make it more appealing!

  3. Arya says:

    I will try to make chocolate orange pudding with my wife tomorrow.

  4. Nicola says:

    Hi! this sounds delicious, did it taste as nice as it sounds?

    Do you have an alternative suggestion for the glace cherries? I adore all of the other ingredients but my other half isn’t a fan of cherries. Could we maybe use dates or prunes?

    • makedospend says:

      Id say prunes, figs or dates would make a great alternative to the cherries, or you could add more sultanas and rasins to make up the fruit weight. I can confirm it was delicious too! Let us know how you get on if you decide to make it :-)

  5. Rosanna says:

    Hi, I wanted to make a pudding for all the family (including toddler)and this sounds wonderful.
    I’m wondering (and excuse me if I sound silly, I’m a beginner) if the alcohol can be replaced? Perhaps with juice or something? And if so would I still make it now (ish)



    • makedospend says:

      Hi Rosanna,
      Not a silly question at all, the alcohol could be replaced with orange juice to pre-soak the fruit in, but I’ve never tried this so cant guarantee it would last from now until Christmas. Im pretty sure it would, but do keep an eye on it to see how it is progressing. Do let me know if you try this, I’d love to know how it turns out :-)

  6. Zoe says:

    I have made this but wondered if I should be adding more alcohol to soak in between now and Christmas?

    • makedospend says:

      Hi Zoe,
      I’ve never tried adding alcohol and don’t think it would need it, rather than being baked like a fruit cake which you would douse to prevent drying out and prolong the cake’s life the pudding is steamed so it’s very moist and should only need dousing in a little extra alcohol just before serving on Christmas day. All that being said I’m always a fan of a little extra alcohol! If you do decide to add some extra booze do let me know how it works out :-)

  7. C-j McErlean says:

    I’m in the middle of making this (albeit a little late, although my fruit has been soaking in the alcohol for 4 weeks now). I don’t know when to add the melted dark chocolate. Can you tell me?

    • makedospend says:

      Hi C-j, add the melted chocolate with the breadcumbs and ground almonds, I will update the recipe to make it clearer, let us know how you get on and if you need any more help just shout! :-)

      • C-j McErlean says:

        I ended up mixing the melted chocolate in with the soaked fruit before mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients. It tastes great. Not the strong boozy flavour of Christmas pudding but a mild chocolate flavour coming through with the fruits. Will definitely do this again. Thanks for sharing.

      • Zoe says:

        We loved this, it tasted delicious!

  8. Pippa trench says:

    Hi i am getting ready to make these and was wondering if anyone can help, I have noticed it says 60g of Cointreau and wasnt sure if this is correct as normally it would be in fluid units can anyone help please

    • makedospend says:

      Hi pippa, you can weigh the liquid directly into the fruit mix using scales which is my preferred method or if you are using a measuring jug measure 60ml, the weight difference is negligible for such a small amount, hope you have fun making them!

  9. Chris says:

    Going to try your pud this year but would like to make in my 2ltr pudding basin instead of 3 small ones. Will this work and would cooking time change

    • makedospend says:

      Hi Chris, i’ve not tried this recipe in a 2ltr pudding basin but my advice would be as follows:
      The above recipe is for 3 x 0.9ltr 16″ dia pudding basins, so for 2 litres you will need around two thirds of this recipe. Maybe you could make an extra 1 litre at the same time so you don’t need to adjust the recipe? They make excellent gifts! The cooking time will increase, I can’t give you exact timings but I would allow for 5 to 5.5 hours, check the pudding after 4 hours, see how it’s getting on and repeat checks every 20 mins following until the pudding is done.
      Hope this helps!
      P.s. did you know we have moved and are now to be found at:

      • Chris says:

        Thank you so much for your advice. Great idea to make one extra for a gift. Will let you know how it goes after Christmas!

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