MINI CHRISTMAS PUDDING'S

By Georgie Duncan

Another summer BBQ, another Christmas party, another drink, another cake...It can be so hard at this time of the year to stay on top of your health and nutrition. And by all means, I am not saying we cant enjoy ourselves and indulge a little! But it can help to make a few smart choices here and there, and swap out some traditionally sugar laden foods for more wholesome options.

These little mini Christmas puddings have become part of my own family's tradition. They are still delicious, and to be honest, contain quite a lot of sugar, but at least it comes in the form of fruit. They are also gluten free, so so suitable for all my clients with gluten intolerance or digestive issues, or for anyone who wishes to cut back on their inflammatory load. They are quite rich, and are best served warm with some sort of heavy cream, whether it be organic cream from your local area, coconut cream for my dairy free friends, or home made brandy cream if you want to get seriously festive.

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INGREDIENTS FOR FRUIT MINCE

Zest of 1 orange

750g peeled, and chopped pears

60g molasses or honey

100g cranberries

130g currants

50g fresh ginger

60g flaked almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 orange

1 tsp each ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg & cardomom

2 tblsp brandy (optional)

INGREDIENTS FOR CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS

Zest and juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons

300g of the fruit mince above

400g mixed dried fruit of choice (cranberries, raisins, apricots, pineapple, figs, prunes ect.

200g mixed whole nuts of choice

60g brandy

75g unsalted butter

50g honey or molasses

3 eggs

100 almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves &cardamom

200g dark chocolate chips or chunks


DIRECTIONS FOR FRUIT MINCE

Roughly chop the pears in your blended until they are still slightly chunky, but quite fine. Place the pears in a saucepan, along with all the other ingredients, except the brandy, and cook for 35 minutes, at a low-medium heat, adding a small amount of water every now and then to avoid the fruit burning. Cool slightly, then stir through the brandy. Set aside.


DIRECTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS

Combine zest, juice, fruit mince, all fruit, nuts and brandy into a saucepan and gently stir together on a low heat for several minutes. Set aside, cover, and leave overnight.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place butter and sweetener of choice into a mixer, and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, almond meal and spice and mix slowly until all combined. Stir through fruit, nuts and chocolate chunks.

Spoon mix into individual pudding moulds, darioles or ramekins. Cover each pudding with either baking paper or foil, secured with string. Place puddings into a baking tray and pour boiling water around the puddings, until the water reaches up half way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the whole baking dish with foil, and cook for about 60-90 minutes. Depending on the size of your puddings, they may need shorter or longer.

Serve warm with cream, ice-cream or brandy sauce, with dessert wine or a cup of tea.

Makes about 18 mini puddings, with fruit mince left over.

Georgina DuncanComment