I am told that the traditional Christmas pudding has its origins in medieval England, and it has been traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in the UK, Ireland and in other countries where it has been brought by British emigrants, like South Africa, Canada to name a few.
I grew up with this pudding on our Christmas table and at the time the most exciting thing about the pudding was the money you might find hidden inside. We would help my mother make them with all the different dried fruits and a good glug of stout would be added along with suet. I hated it then, now of course it’s a different story – the fruitier and moister it is the more I like it.
Are you going the traditional hot pudding route this Christmas? Thinking of hide a few five rand coins deep in the moist fruitiness of your steamed pudding? If so, I would like to remind you to sterilize those coins before hiding them. I had a friend who just slipped them into the pudding before serving and it was too late to do anything, so we kept mum and I didn’t have any to eat that year. To sterilize your coins just boil them rapidly for a few minutes to kill Gerry the Germ and all will be well.
I think this is going to be a long hot summer and as I’m working on Christmas Day, I think this will be a nice cold dessert to come home to. It’s based on a tiramisu, with the fruitiness of Christmas.
2 cups strong, black coffee
½ cup dark rum, or more if you are brave
4 eggs, separated
¼ cup castor sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
1 cup cream, whipped
1 large vanilla sponge cake, cut into fingers
1 cup glace cherries, halved
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 cup chopped preserved figs
2 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
Mix together the coffee and the rum. Set aside to cool.
Using an electric beater, beat the egg yolks and sugar for about 3 minutes until mixture is thick and pale. Now add the mascarpone and beat until just combined. Use a metal spoon, fold in the whipped cream.
Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold quickly and lightly into the cream mixture with a metal spoon.
Now dip half the cake fingers, one at a time of course, into the rum and coffee mixture. Drain off any excess liquid and arrange the cake fingers in the base of your serving dish (about 20 cm x 25cm and 6 cm deep). Spread half the cream mixture over the dipped cake fingers.
Mix the fruit and nuts together and spread half the mixture over cream-covered cake.
Now it’s time to dip the remaining cake fingers in the coffee, and repeat layering with the cake fingers and cream mixture. Even out the top and dust with cocoa powder. To make serving easier, dust the cocoa in lines, dividing the tiramisu into equal portions.
Place the rest of the nut and fruit mixture in little piles on top of the tiramisu, either in the middle or in the cocoa-lined squares. Place the tiramisu in the fridge for at least 4 hours to allow the flavours to get to know each other and for the dessert to set.
To serve, cut slices with a wet knife on the cocoa lines between the fruit and nut piles, and place on a plate. Dust with some icing sugar, and maybe a bit more cocoa.
© Jenny Morris 2017 All Rights Reserved