The idea of steaming a cake sounds wild to some. This Steamed Orange Chocolate Christmas Pudding will make you a believer. Learn how to steam a pudding now!
It’s Food N’ Flix Chrismas edition and we are revisiting a personal favorite that I have watched countless times, Love Actually. Since the movie takes place mostly in London I chose a traditional English Christmas dessert, with a personal and movie inspired twist. I present to you my steamed orange chocolate Christmas pudding. And the accompanying homemade chocolate sauce is my new go-to chocolate sauce for cake or any dessert.
Are you intimidated with the idea of a steam pudding recipe? Fear not, below I will demystify the process of how to steam a British Christmas pudding. It is really super simple.
Ah Love Actually, this star-studded modern Christmas classic is truly a favorite of mine. This 2003 film takes place mostly in London and it a series of short stories, glimpses in some people’s lives, and somehow they sort of all intertwine at the end at a Christmas school talent show.
And when I say star-studded…I can’t even name them all here. Some we no longer see as often (Hugh Grant). Some were little known at the time but out now huge (yeah ‘Rick Grimes’ of Walking Dead as a rosy lip shy guy). The wonderful Alan Rickman sadly is no longer with us. And let’s not forget a delicious cameo by Rowan Atkinson. Follow up on a lot of the actors here.
There are really so many stories going on I am not going to start explaining them all. Some stories are funny, some characters find love, some accept they lost their true love or that love has fizzled out. Some stories are about romance, or family bonds, or friendships. The stories are about hope, others are sad. Hey, it is a British movie, after all, no sugar coated plums for everyone!
I really like the emotional roller coaster of this holiday movie. Some of my colleagues had not seen it and did watch it after I mentioned this post I was working on. WOW, some controversial conversation exploded after everyone saw it. You had the lovers who felt the Christmas spirit, and camp B found the movie depressing and sad. What?!?! How can you not love a movie where two porn movie stand-in actors find actual love!
Have you seen Love Actually? Click here to see the movie online or buy a copy.
An English Christmas Pudding
Now as much as I love the movie, food has a very minor supporting role, at best. Especially holiday food. So when I racked (of lamb) my brain to find the right recipe to make, I was leaning towards Christmas dessert recipes with a touch of English cuisine.
And what is the ultimate Christmas cake recipe in the UK? Why a Christmas plum pudding of course. Quiz time: are there really plums in the Christmas pudding ingredients list? The answer is no! Before the Victorian era, raisins were called plums. And the traditional Christmas pudding recipe does include raisins and many more dried fruits. You will often find suet, eggs, maybe treacle, and scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
Like out fruitcake in North America, the best Christmas pudding recipe has been matured over time by adding a dose of brandy here and there. I skipped this step and just drizzled mine with the best chocolate sauce recipe ever.
Are you wondering how to make Christmas pudding? Well, you boil it! Or rather steam the batter in a pudding basin in simmering water. This is what makes the Xmas pudding recipe unique. Sounds daunting but let me assure you it is not. I have included an easy Christmas pudding recipe. Mine is just not the traditional kind, this is a chocolate pudding recipe. I’ll explain the oranges also a little further down. But first, let’s learn how to steam an English pudding cake.
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Once your Christmas pudding cake batter is ready, you will want to generously grease a 1.2-pint pudding basin with butter. If you do not have a basin like this 1.5 L Home Made Stoneware Pudding Basin you can still make a pudding cake. Get a heat resistant bowl in a similar shape and it will work out fine.
Cut a small circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pudding basin, and place it in the bottom. The butter should help it hold in place. Spoon the batter into the pudding basin, smoothing out the top.
Place a 30 cm long (1 foot) piece of parchment paper on top of a sheet of aluminum foil of the same size. Grease the parchment with butter in the center. Pleat the parchment and aluminum papers in the middle and fold over about 3 cm (1 inch). Place both sheets over the pudding and fold edges around the basin. The pleat will give room to the pudding to rise.
Tie a string tightly twice around the lip of the basin. Leaving 2 long ends, tuck under the string across from the knot and tie to form a handle. Trim the excess parchment and foil to about 5 cm (2 inches), and tuck the foil around the parchment to seal.
Still confused? Just watch this short video.
How to steam a pudding
New to steam cooking? Let me teach you how to steam a Christmas pudding. It’s my year of steaming I think. I did a tutorial on how to steam a whole fish right here, now I am going to steam a cake!
Place an upturned plate at the bottom of a very large soup pan that is taller than the pudding basin. Place the ready pudding basin on the plate. Fill with boiling water 2/3 of the way up and place the lid of the pan on top. Turn on the burner to keep it at a rolling simmer. Steam the cake as per recipe, usually about 2 to 3 hours.
Remove the basin from the water with the handle you made and leave on the countertop for 5 to 10 min before placing a serving plate on top and invert to unmold. My cake was quite domed so I sliced off the bottom so it could lay flat on the plate.
Why I chose to make an Orange Chocolate Christmas Pudding
This is actually only my second attempt at making a British pudding. Let’s travel back to 2010 and I made a Lychee Coconut and Lemongrass British Pudding, with real suet. I know, a really bizarre flavor combination, but we are talking about me after all. And the combo worked, but my pudding, not so much.
This time I really did so research and combined about 3 recipes into one. I did not feel like doing the whole dried fruit thing. But a chocolate Christmas cake, heck yes! And this easy chocolate pudding recipe turned out perfect! It was perfectly cooked, moist yet still dense and a really pleasant dark chocolate pudding flavor.
Plus oranges! Oranges are also a symbol of Christmas. And chocolate with oranges, a heavenly marriage of flavors. And this was also a Love Actually movie inspiration. They were not in the same bowl, but there was a bunch of oranges – probably the same bunch each time – showing up in so many scenes in the film. Over, and over, and over again.
Read carefully the direction because I use only one large orange in the recipe but divide three sections of it. After cutting 4 slices down the center, I also added the remaining zest and chopped flesh in the batter.
I totally copied the idea of placing 4 thin slices in the pudding basin before adding the batter. I am so happy how the steam pudding came out, really classy presentation touch. This is truly the best chocolate pudding recipe with a touch of orange flavor.
The BEST Chocolate Sauce ever for any dessert
I have made a many chocolate sauce recipe for cakes in the past. This is now my final go-to favorite dark chocolate sauce for any dessert and makes for a perfect Christmas pudding sauce.
This is an easy chocolate sauce recipe to make because there is no chocolate to melt or burn. I will show you how to make chocolate sauce with cocoa powder in the recipe below. Refrain from using a microwave, it’s super quick to prepare on the stove. You really need to let boil for a good minute as this is how to thicken chocolate sauce properly.
The result will be a glossy thick chocolate sauce that has some consistency to it but will also not get hard once refrigerated. I love that! Just look at how that tempting drizzle of chocolate sauce is just hugging that orange slice. I want to lick the screen so badly. How about you?
Before I end this post and leave you to the recipe, I wanted to let you know that I will be taking 2 weeks off from the blog and my YouTube channel. Besides a quick announcement post just before the New Year, I will be back on Jan 10th, 2019 with our next Eat The World Challenge where we will be visiting Ethiopia.
I wish you all a fantabulous Holiday Season with close ones and a happy New Year filled with delicious meals and wonderful travel adventures!
Steamed Orange Chocolate Christmas Pudding with Chocolate Sauce
- 1 large orange 4 thin slices, zest, and chopped quarters flesh
- 100 g sugar
- 75 g butter melted
- 100 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 50 g cocoa
- Pinch of salt
- 50 g butter
- 100 g sugar
- 50 g cocoa
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 ml milk
- Generously grease a 1.2-pint pudding basin with butter. Cut a small circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pudding basin, and place it in the bottom. The butter should help it hold in place. Place an upturned plate at the bottom of a very large soup pan that is taller than the pudding basin. Fill with water half way and bring slowly to a boil.
- Cut the orange down the middle and cut 2 thin slices on each side: you will have 4 thin orange slices. Set aside. Zest the remaining ends of the orange, then cut the peel away, and chop up the flesh of the orange. Place the zest and flesh is a large bowl.
- Add the sugar, melted butter, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Beat well. Add the flour, salt, and cocoa and mix very well until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, smoothing to the edges.
- Position the 4 thin slices of orange around the base, pushing against the sides of the basin. Spoon the mixture into the center of the pudding basin, smoothing to the edges and top.
- Place a 30 cm long (1 foot) piece of parchment paper on top of a sheet of aluminum foil of the same side. Grease the parchment with butter in the center. Pleat the parchment and aluminum papers in the middle and fold over about 3 cm (1 inch). Place both sheets over the pudding and fold edges around the basin. Tie a string tightly twice around the lip of the basin. Leaving 2 long ends, tuck under the string across from the knot and tie to form a handle. Trim the excess parchment and foil to about 5 cm (2 inches), and tuck the foil around the parchment to seal.
- Gently place the basin into the rolling water, making sure the water is about 2/3 the way up the sides of the basin. Place the lid of the pan on top, adjust heat to a rolling simmer, and steam for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the basin from the water and leave on the countertop while you prepare the sauce.
- Add the butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and milk to a small saucepan. Stir over a medium-high heat. Bring to a bubble for 1 min until the sauce is glossy.
- Unwrap the sheets from the basin and spoon evenly 1/4 cup on the sauce on the base of the pudding. Place your serving plate over the basin and invert to unmold. Spoon a little bit of the sauce on top of the pudding. Cut slices of the pudding and each guest can add extra sauce to their piece.
Food ‘n Flix is hosted this month by Debra at Eliot’s Eats! In this monthly group, a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. Join us!
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