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Gluten-free chocolate Christmas pudding

by Victoria Glass
Gluten-free Chocolate Christmas Pudding

Gluten-free chocolate Christmas pudding

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Why not try?

Christmas is coming and the geese are … well, hopefully fat enough by now. If you haven't made a Christmas pudding yet, you may feel that a trip to the supermarket is the only option left, but tell that Grinch in your ear to do one. It’s time to dust off your pinny and get your festive bake on.

Although, it is true that Xmas pud always benefits from a few months maturation, even if it's as new and shiny as your freshly unwrapped Christmas presents it is still guaranteed to be far more palate-pleasing than anything you'd pop in your trolley. The added richness of the chocolate is ramped up with lashings of booze, plenty of spice and a seasonal grating of orange zest.

If you want to stick staunchly to tradition, you can opt for a classic Christmas pudding, but, if you'd like to inject a slick of avant-garde glamour into this year's festive staple, my chocolate Christmas pudding makes the perfect centrepiece.

There is certainly no skimping on the booze in this alternative and it has the good sense to keep as long as traditional Christmas pudding, so you can make two today and be more productive than you thought possible by using the extra to serve as a decadent Valentine’s Day dessert, or get on top of next year’s festivities, by sticking your spare pud under your bed until next year.

This chocolate Christmas pud couldn’t be easier and, although I made mine with rice flour, you can substitute it for plain wheat flour if catering for gluten-dodgers isn’t part of your Christmas Day plans.

1
Put the sugar, butter, chocolate, dried fruits, stem ginger and alcohol in a saucepan and stir over a gently heat until the chocolate and butter have melted. Bring to the boil and immediately turn off the heat. Stir in the orange zest and juice and vanilla seeds and leave to cool
2
Once cool, mix in the beaten egg and hazelnuts before sifting over the flour, cocoa, spices and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding bowl and smooth over the top
3
Cut out a 13" baking parchment circle. Pleat the circles and place over the pudding. Cover the pudding with a lid made from a pleated circle of tin foil
4
Wrap string twice around the basin and tie to secure the paper. Use more string to wrap over and under the bowl and tie a knot to make a handle
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5
Put the basin in the top of a steamer of simmering water for 3 hours, topping up with boiling water every hour to prevent the pan from boiling dry. Once cooked, remove from the steamer and leave to cool
6
Once cool, unwrap the pudding and re-wrap to ensure that no water has got inside. Cover the cold pudding tightly with foil and store in a cool, dark place, preferably for at least a month, until ready to reheat
7
On Christmas day, steam the pudding for 1½ hours to reheat, before turning the pudding out and pouring flaming brandy over the top and serving with generous lashings of brandy butter, cream, ice cream or all three. Merry Christmas!
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