Chocolate & Cherry Christmas Pudding

It’s no secret that I love chocolate and cherries together, and this is the ultimate Christmas dessert to hero my two faves. I’m super happy with this recipe and the secret is using vino cotto to soak the fruit, instead of the traditional brandy, and also adding it to the ganache. The vino cotto compliments the chocolate so well and I’ll definitely be using it more in my desserts from now on. I’m making this for Christmas dinner this year because we all devoured it when I made it for testing, especially Mum and Dad. You can make this a few days before Christmas and keep it covered in the fridge, then steam it again for an hour to reheat it before serving, which is what I’m going to do too. Anything I can do in advance is on my menu this year. Hope you all have a merry one! xx

What you’ll need:

200g pitted cherries, plus extra for serving
100g sultanas
100g raisins
150g dried sour cherries
⅓ cup (80ml) vino cotto
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
200g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) caster sugar
¼ cup (50g) muscovado or brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
3 tbs (30g) cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup (150g) plain flour

½ cup (125ml) cream
2 tbs vino cotto
100g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
50g unsalted butter, chopped

What to do:

Place cherries, sultanas, raisins, dried cherries, vino cotto, cinnamon and mixed spice in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.

Place the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add cocoa powder and flour and beat until combined. Fold through fruit mixture and all its juices until fully combined. Spoon into a buttered 2 litre pudding basin and cover with baking paper then the lid, or 2 layers of foil secured with string.

Steam for 3 hours. Cool in the basin for 15 minutes before inverting onto serving plate. Alternatively, cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, then uncover and steam for 1 hour before serving to reheat. 

To make ganache, bring the cream and vino cotta to the boil in a small saucepan, add chocolate and remove from heat. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in butter until smooth and melted. Pour over pudding and top with fresh cherries.

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