Sticky figgy puddings


First published in 2015
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If your list to Santa includes a dairy-free pud that's lighter than the traditional offering and low in refined sugar, this could be a Christmas gift with your name on it. It's worth tracking down chestnut flour for its flavour and obvious seasonal connotations. By all means add a little cinnamon or orange zest if you fancy, but you will lose some of the subtle chestnut taste as a result.

The caramel sauce takes just a few minutes to make – granted there's not a lot, but you really only need a little, don't you? If you crave indulgence you could add a scoop of (dairy-free) ice cream; if you crave alcohol you could anoint the puds with Marsala or brandy before pouring on the sauce . . . or just have a tipple on the side.

The puddings dome dramatically when baked, so trim them level if the sight of a wobbly bottom smacks too much of impending New Year diets.

Recipe taken from Howard Middleton's book Delicious Gluten-Free Baking published by Little, Brown.





  • 3 tbsp of light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g of chestnut flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150ml of boiling water
  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 100g of dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g of coconut sugar
  • 30g of ground rice
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum


  • 35g of coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp of date syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 3 tbsp of non-dairy milk, such as hemp or coconut
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Grease the tins with a little olive oil placed on a piece of kitchen roll. Dust with chestnut flour and shake to remove any excess
Dissolve the coffee powder in boiling water and pour over the chopped figs
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and coconut sugar until frothy. This should only take a few minutes
Mix in the chestnut flour, ground rice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and xanthan gum with a wooden spoon before stirring in the fig and coffee mixture
Spoon the mixture evenly between the prepared tins and place onto a baking tray. Transfer to an oven and bake for around 25 minutes or until fully risen and firm to the touch. As an extra test insert a knife or cake tester into the middle – if it comes out clean the puddings are done
Leave the puddings to cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then remove from the tins by sliding a thin knife around the edge of the puddings and turn upside down on a plate. If so desired, the bottoms can be trimmed to create a perfectly flat base
For the sauce, first place the coconut sugar, date syrup and vanilla paste into a small pan. Place this over a low to medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved
Pour in the non-dairy milk and bring to the boil, before turning the heat down to a simmer. Once the mixture has thickened a little pour the sauce evenly over each of the puddings
First published in 2015
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