Christmas Pudding is tradition for being the dessert that finishes off your Christmas Dinners on Christmas Day. But it is interesting to discover that what we deem as Christmas Pudding nowadays, is not what it originally was like. It first was developed in the 14th century as a porridge named ‘Frumenty‘ that consisted of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This was really more like a soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities.
It wasn’t until 1595 that the dessert slowly became a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavour with the addition of booze! Mainly beer or spirits. It became the customary Christmas Dinner Pudding of choice around 1650.
Because it is almost Christmas, I thought it would be a nice bake, to incorporate the flavours you get in a christmas pudding and make it into a festive Christmas Pudding Cupcake. These will be sticky, spicy gingerbread and chocolate muffins that will look like christmas puds when iced. I hope you like the idea, and also take inspiration from the way I chose to decorate my cupcakes.
100 grams of Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons of Black Treacle
2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
100 grams of Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar
100ml of milk
175 grams of Plain Flour
1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tablespoon of Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
1 Egg, at room temperature, and lightly beaten.
50 grams of Chocolate Chips, the ones with about 54% cocoa solids work best.)
100 grams of Icing Sugar
Edible Decorations, such as sugar holly leaves, or glacé cherries to get that Christmas Pudding Look. Although this is all purely optional.
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F/ Gas Mark 5.
2. Put the butter, treacle, golden syrup, sugar and milk in a saucepan. Set it over a low heat and warm gently, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave the mixture to cool for around 10 minutes.
3. Whilst your sugary mixture is cooling, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon into a mixing bowl.
4. Tip the cooled sugary mixture into the mixing bowl and add your egg. Stir well with a wooden spoon until smooth and thick but still runny.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Spoon the mixture into 9 paper cases to fill evenly. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen. To test if the cupcakes are baked, use the standard skewer test on the centre of one of your cupcakes, it should come out clear. If not, bake for another 2 minutes and then test again.
7. Wearing oven gloves, remove the trays from the oven and set them onto a heatproof surface. Let them cool for 5 minutes, and then carefully transfer them to a cooling wire rack and leave them to cool completely.
8. Mix the icing sugar with 2 teaspoons of cold water to make a thick but spreadable icing.
9. Dollop a small spoonful of icing into the centre of each cupcake, then use the back of a spoon or knife to spread the icing over the top.
10. Add your festive decorations to the top of your cupcakes, as desired. This should be done before your icing sets completely. And once the icing has set firm, store the cupcakes in an airtight container and eat within 3 days of baking.
I hope you enjoyed this festive christmassy treat, and they could always be used for those that love the taste of gingerbread, but don’t enjoy the masses of fruit that are present in your traditional christmas puddings.
Have a wonderful Christmas!