Gluten-free chocolate Christmas pudding

30 minutes


  • 100g of light muscovado sugar
  • 100g of butter, chopped
  • 100g of dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 120g of sour cherries, dried
  • 40g of raisins
  • 40g of sultanas
  • 75g of currants
  • 25g of dried cranberries
  • 150g of pitted prunes, chopped
  • stem ginger, 2 balls, finely chopped
  • 150ml of brandy
  • 100ml of port
  • 50ml of Cointreau
  • 2 oranges, zest and juice
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 50g of hazelnuts, blanched roughly chopped
  • 100g of rice flour
  • 50g of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 pinch of salt


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
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
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
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
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
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
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!