Chocolate & cherry Christmas pudding 2016

Chocolate & cherry Christmas pudding

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins plus several hours cooling


Serves 10 - 12

A twist on the classic Christmas pudding,  our cherry version is served with silky dark chocolate, a rich brandy sauce and a dollop of double cream

Nutrition and extra info

  • Nut-free

Nutrition: per serving (12)

  • kcal386
  • fat21g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre3g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.2g
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    For the pudding

    • 200g frozen dark sweet cherries defrosted, plus extra cherries, left whole, to decorate the pudding
    • 1 Conference pear
    • 100g raisins
    • 100g sultanas
    • 100ml brandy



      Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

    • 100g bar dark chocolate
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-o-let

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 100g unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp for greasing
    • 2 large eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 50g plain flour
    • 100g dark soft brown sugar
    • 1 tsp mixed spice
    • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 50g fresh breadcrumbs

    For the chocolate brandy sauce

    • 100g bar dark chocolate
      Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

      Dark chocolate

      dahk chok-o-let

      Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

    • 120ml double cream, plus extra to serve
    • 2 tbsp golden syrup
      Golden syrup

      Golden syrup

      goal-dun sir-rup

      Golden syrup is a translucent, golden-amber coloured, sweet syrup

    • 3 tbsp brandy (optional)



      Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…


    1. Drain the cherries in a sieve over a bowl. Cut them in half. Peel the pear, then grate it coarsely.

    2. In a large bowl, combine the cherries, pear, the raisins, sultanas and brandy. Stir well and cover with clingfilm.

    3. Heat in the microwave on high for 3 mins, then leave to cool for 5 mins to let the fruit plump up. Break the chocolate into squares while you wait.

    4. Tip the chocolate and butter into the hot fruit. Stir, then leave to melt. Let it cool, uncovered, for about 15 mins.

    5. Meanwhile, rub 1 tbsp butter around the inside of a 1-litre pudding basin.

    6. Lay two sheets of foil over each other and butter the one on top. Holding both sheets together, fold a 3cm pleat across the middle of the foil and set aside.

    7. Beat the eggs together in a small bowl. Sift the flour, sugar, mixed spice and cocoa powder on top of the chocolatey fruit, then add the breadcrumbs, eggs and 1/4 tsp salt.

    8. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon – it will be quite a wet mixture. Tip it into the buttered basin.

    9. Cover the pudding with the buttered foil (buttery-side down), and scrunch it over the edge of the basin. Tie string tightly under the lip of the basin, and make a string handle to help you lower the basin in and out of the saucepan later.

    10. Trim the foil so that a frill of about 5cm is left sticking out, then tuck the frill up and under itself neatly. The aim is to keep the pudding watertight beneath.

    11. Put a heatproof saucer into the very large saucepan, then put the basin on top. Pour in just-boiled water to come halfway up the basin.

    12. Cover the pan and steam the pudding for 2 1/2 hrs. Test the pudding is cooked by inserting a skewer through the foil – if there is any wet mixture, steam for 15 mins more then check again.The pan should be simmering rather than boiling hard. Top up the water levels as it cooks, if you need to.

    13. To store, let the pudding cool and leave in a cool dark place to mature. Don’t unwrap the foil. You can make this pudding up to two months before eating.

    14. To reheat, steam in a pan for 30 mins, or microwave on medium for 5 mins. Remove the foil to microwave, covering with clingfilm instead.

    15. For the sauce, break the chocolate into squares. Put all the ingredients in a small pan and heat gently, stirring, until smooth. Serve the pudding topped with any remaining cherries, the sauce and a dollop of double cream.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Baking Bee
    2nd Feb, 2020
    Brilliant pudding! Followed the recipe exactly and is was beautiful. I made it a couple of days before Christmas rather than leaving it to mature. Loved how it still maintained the typical Christmas pudding flavour with the cherries and chocolate adding to that. This will be my go to Christmas pudding recipe from now on.
    windflower's picture
    26th Dec, 2018
    This is by far and away the best Christmas pud I've ever tasted! I would have preferred to use the brandy, but we had a 'no-alcohol' guest for Xmas dinner, so I used the cherry juice left from draining the cherries and added enough fresh orange juice to make up the 100ml. Apart from that, I followed the recipe to the letter and the pudding was soft, moist and absolutely delicious after steaming for 2 1/2 hours on Christmas Eve. I then re-steamed it for almost an hour just before serving it with custard made with half-and-half whole milk and single cream - just for a rich, smooth treat. Gastronomical!
    7th Dec, 2018
    followed recipe exactly, but more like a bread pudding. Tastes ok, but rather soft and soggy.
    Ken Jayne Jones's picture
    Ken Jayne Jones
    28th Nov, 2018
    Made this for the first time, steamed for 3 1/2 hours, skewer still not coming out as clean/dry as I think it should have been. Will the pudding be OK? do you think?
    5th Jan, 2017
    This was suprisingly easy to make and tasted fantastic! Very chocolately and loved by all! Will be making it again next Christmas.
    28th Nov, 2019
    This looks great! If I double the recipe for a big crowd what cooking time would you recommend please?
    lulu_grimes's picture
    2nd Dec, 2019
    Dear Dodie, It is great! We suggest you make two 1 litre puddings and keep to the cooking time suggested, 1 large pudding won't cook as well and is likely to dry out at the edges before the centre is cooked. let us know how you get on.
    Fern Nelson's picture
    Fern Nelson
    22nd Oct, 2019
    I love this's delicious!! I was hoping to give this pudding as a gift with the sauce in a pot....So my question is... is it safe to reheat the sauce?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    26th Oct, 2019
    Thanks for your question. We'd suggest giving the pudding as a gift at the end of step 13. You could package up with a bar of chocolate and a handwritten tag giving the instructions for the sauce. For inspiration, look at this edible gift:
    23rd Dec, 2016
    First timer here... lovely recipe. I'm making this in a fluted aluminum mold with a lid. Is the cook time the same and can I just keep it in the mold until Christmas?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    24th Dec, 2016
    Thanks for your question. We haven't tried this in an alternative to a pudding basin. Without seeing it, I'm afraid we can't give specific advice or timings. We'd suggest using a 1 litre pudding basin if you can get your hands on one!
    9th Dec, 2016
    This calls for tsp of "mixed spice". What does that even mean? Can you be more specific?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    9th Dec, 2016
    Mixed spice is a pre-blended spice mix available in the spice rack at supermarkets and grocery shops. It typically includes a combination of sweet spices like cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
    5th Dec, 2016
    Does this need to be made a month ahead like normal Christmas pudding or would a week be ok?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    8th Dec, 2016
    The flavour will mature over time but you can make it a week before if that suits you better.


    koolk_2009's picture
    3rd Jan, 2019
    This was delicious, I did increase the amounts of flour and breadcrumbs as some comments said it was soggy and it came out beautifully. Also used cherry brandy in place of brandy which was delicious.
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