Let’s be honest a traditional Christmas pudding is not every one’s cup of tea and…………………….you are a tad late if you want to make one so here is a spectacular alternative. It is every bit as special (some would say more), much lighter and filled with brandy soaked fruit, juicy cranberries and ginger biscuits. In bid to show off (tick) I have decorated mine with shards of white chocolate, crystallised berries and a fair bit of edible sparkle. It looks gorgeous and there will definitely be a Tah ..da..moment when you carry it to the Christmas table.
Don’t be tempted to …….flame this pud…you have been warned..
LUSCIOUS CHRISTMAS ICE CREAM PUDDING WITH SPARKLY WHITE CHOCOLATE SHARDS AND CRANBERRIES
NB Remember to start the night before.
For the boozy fruit
65g Dried, sweetened cranberries
6 tbsp. brandy
For ice cream
5 Ginger nut biscuits
300ml double cream
600ml readymade vanilla custard (roughly 600g)
A grating of fresh nutmeg
50 g best quality white chocolate
A little light oil
White of an egg
Handful of fresh cranberries/red grapes etc
Caster sugar and edible glitter
- Mix together the raisins, sultanas and cranberries in a small bowl.
- Pour over the brandy and leave overnight.
- Break up the biscuits into small chunks.
- In a plastic bowl lightly whip the cream until the soft peak stage. Now gently fold in the boozy fruit, the ginger nuts biscuits and the readymade custard.
- Add a grating of fresh nutmeg-be careful not to add too much, it is surprisingly strong. Put the bowl in the freezer for a couple of hours. When it is frozen around the edges but still soft, take it out of the freezer and stir it up with a wooden spoon until the fruit is mixed through it. This will stop the fruit sinking to the bottom and also make the ice cream more creamy.
- With a pastry brush lightly oil an 800 ml (1 ½ pt.) pudding basin. Put a strip of folded foil, long enough to go across the bottom and hang over the sides-put a little more oil over this and then line the bowl with cling film (over the foil) allowing it to hang over the edges. It is not strictly necessary to use the foil but it makes it easier to turn out the pudding. Cover with a square of foil and freeze for at least 8 hours.
- When you are ready to serve take out of the freezer 20 minutes before and then turn on to a serving dish. You can run a knife around the edge to help release it. Remove the foil and ease away the cling film. Decorate as below.
- To make the chocolate shards: Carefully melt the chocolate either in a bowl over water or very carefully in the microwave. White chocolate is the most temperamental of chocolate to melt so treat it gently to avoid it going lumpy and spoiling. Brush a little oil onto a hard, solid surface such as marble or the back of a laminated chopping board. Pour the chocolate on to this and spread out thinly with a palate knife. Leave to set until it is dry.
To make the shards use a sharp knife held at an angle
and push the blade away from you across the surface of the chocolate. If it shatters it is too hard, let it soften in a warm room-if it gathers along the knife it is too soft. Tricky but it looks impressive!
To make the sparkly cranberries/grapes:
Dry them with kitchen paper. Lightly break up the egg white and spread out the caster sugar on a plate. Roll the berries in the egg white, shake off the excess and then drop onto the sugar-use a spoon to shake the sugar over the berries. Leave to dry and sprinkle with edible glitter.
Freezing- freeze for up to one month.