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Saturday, December 21, 2013

it started so well...







i grew up with figgy and persimmon pudding... i hated it! what kid likes all that dense gunk; rum, fruit, nuts and raisins for christmas dessert. i would beg my mother to at least leave the white hard sauce virgin, she would ruin that too with rum, i hated christmas dessert, i had nothing to devour!




enter nigella's christmas cookbook, which the novel bakers recently featured. there was not enough time to get this recipe made that week, but i knew it was on my christmas list. this is just a plain chocolate sponge cake, steamed the way my grandmother and mother always made their christmas puddings.




i was eager to give it a go!


it came out perfect...



until i left the kitchen for it to cool...



normally i would pop it outside to cool instantly so i could pour the ganache, but i thought what the heck, take a break, do it a bit later...



then i hear a crash in the kitchen...



did i mention i have a family of 4 feral cats and kittens?



my favorite is comet, a streak of fun...



jokes on me... he ate the tops of both cakes!



now you see why the pics are blurry, odd and obscure by choice, i couldn't bare to zoom in on these 2 disasters...



it won't stop me from eating them... i won't tell my husband... BUT, i am kind enough not to share these with anyone else... bah humbug, just when i thought i could try and embrace my very own christmas puddings... thanks nigella, it was a good try, maybe next year!

nigella's chocolate sponge pudding

For The Sponge

1 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For The Sauce
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions:

1 Use a 1½-quart Pyrex mixing bowl.

2 Butter your heat-proof Pyrex mixing bowl. Make sure you have adequate boiling water in a pan (or a conventional steamer) on the stovetop to steam the sponge.

3 Put the flour and cocoa powder into a processor and blitz to get rid of any lumps.

4 Add all the remaining sponge ingredients to the processor and blitz, for longer this time, to mix. Take the lid off, scrape it down, then put the lid back on for 3 more long pulses. Scrape the chocolate batter into the prepared bowl, smooth it down (the batter will come only halfway up the bowl) and wrap the bowl, first, in parchment paper, then in a layer of aluminum foil, followed by a layer of plastic wrap and a second layer of foil, so no water could possibly get inches Stem in the boiling water in the pan or steamer for 1½ hours (by which time the sponge will have risen to about 1½ inches below the lip). To cook it for longer will do no harm.

5 To make the sauce, which can easily be done before you eat, and reheated just before you serve the pudding, put all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and place over a gentle heat to melt, stirring every now and again and then whisking, off the heat, at the very end, to combine smoothly.

6 When the sponge is ready, remove it carefully from the pan or steamer without burning yourself, then unwrap from its foil and plastic wrap casing. Put a plate, or a stand, with a slight lip, on top, flip both upside down, so plate and sponge are the right way up, and wiggle off the bowl.

7 Pour some hot sauce over the sponge, so that it just covers the top and falls in glossy, licking drips down the side, and pour the rest of the sauce into a jug or bowl to be served with a spoon.