The traditional Christmas pudding is given a modern twist with the additional popular flavour combination of chocolate and orange. This chocolate orange Christmas pudding is lighter than the classic dense pudding and makes a great alternative for those who still want a special pudding that is a little less rich.
A Lighter Christmas pudding
I love a rich Christmas pudding but I know they are not everyone's cup of tea so this is an alternative version of the traditional Christmas dessert.
So now you really can have the best of both worlds, a traditional style pudding that is totally delicious and shouts Christmas pudding but is lighter in both texture and flavour.
Even if you do love a rich pudding there is no getting away from it, they can be a bit heavy at the end of a Christmas dinner when we are stuffed full of turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing and a million pigs in blankets. This lighter version is equally delcious and incredibly easy to make.
A Christmas pud that can be made ahead or left to the last moment
Traditionally Christmas Pudding, once cooked, is cooled and then wrapped up and stored somewhere dark for a few weeks. That time allows for the flavours to mature and develop
Likewise this pudding can be made in advance on Stir up Sunday to get ahead of the game and kept in a cool dry place until the big day. But you can also make it much nearer the day if that suits you better as it doesnt need time to mature.
Indeed you could even make it the day before if should you so wish.
The pudding is alcohol-free. It doesn’t need the rich flavours of added alcohol with the chocolate orange flavour. But if you feel you must you could add a splash or rum or brandy as they both work well with the chocolate and orange.
Soaking the dried fruits in the orange juice overnight allows them to become beautifully plump and juicy.
Time Saving Tip:
If you want to speed this step up, place the fruit and the juice in a saucepan. Heat gently until the juice is just simmering. Cover the pan and leave to stand for 30 minutes
Can I make the pudding Gluten free?
Both the self-raising flour and the breadcrumbs can easily be replaced with gluten free equivalents. As there is no suet in this recipe you do not need to worry about finding a gluten free alternative as you would with a traditonal recipe.
Is this Christmas pudding suitable for Vegans?
I’ve used butter in this pudding recipe as I like the flavour and it is my preferred fat for most of my baking but you could replace this with a dairy-free alternative to make it suitable for Vegans.
Serve with custard, whipped cream, brandy or rum butter or brandy or rum sauce.
Chocolate Orange Christmas pudding
- 1 orange juice and zest plus additional juice if required.
- 250 g (9oz) dried mixed fruit
- 50 g butter softened, plus extra for greasing
- 75 g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 50 g (2oz) glace cherries, quartered
- 100 g (3½oz) plain chocolate, we used 52% cocoa solids, finely chopped
- ½ eating apple grated
- 50 g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs
- 75 g (3oz) self-raising flour
- 25 g (1oz) ground almonds
- Large pan with lid or steamer
- 600ml (1¼pt) pudding basin
- Steamer trivet or small plate
- Grate the zest from the orange and squeeze the juice. Make the juice up to 150ml (¼ pt) with additional orange juice if required. Place 250g (9oz) mixed fruit into a bowl and add the orange juice and zest. Cover and set aside to soak overnight.
- Grease a 600ml (1¼pt) pudding basin and place a disc of baking parchment in the bottom.
- Beat the 50g (2oz) butter and 75g (3oz) sugar together either with a wooden spoon or an electric beater until pale and fluffy. Gradually add 2 beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the soaked fruits and any juice, 50g (2oz) glace cherries, ½ a grated apple and 100g (3½oz) finely chopped chocolate and mix well.
- Add the 50g (2oz) breadcrumbs, 75g (3oz) self-raising flour and 25g (1oz) ground almonds and fold in.
- Spoon the pudding batter into the prepared bowl, packing it down well. Avoid over filling it, leave a little space (about 1-2cm) for it to expand during cooking. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Then cover with foil and tie securely with string. Sit the bowl in a saucepan on top of a trivet or upturned saucer. Pour boiling water down the side of the bowl into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the bowl. Place the lid on the pan. Return the water to a boil then reduce the heat so that the water just simmers and steam the pudding for 2 ½ hours topping up the water as required.
- Once cooked remove from the steamer or pan and remove the covers. Allow to cool completely then cover again with fresh parchment and foil. Store in a cool dry place until required.