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Chocolate and Ginger Christmas Pudding

Start making this the day before you wish to cook it, it can be made up to 6 weeks before Christmas then reheated on Christmas Day.

Ingredients for a 1.2 litre or 2 pint pudding:

110g shredded light suet
50g self raising flour
1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder such as Divine
110g white breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1?2 teaspoon cinnamon

225g light brown soft sugar
6 pieces of stem ginger, chopped
100g dark chocolate chips
120g raisins
260g currants
50g roughly chopped pecans
1 cooking apple, peeled and finely chopped or grated
grated zest and juice of 2 large oranges
2 medium eggs
150ml stout or Guinness
2 tablespoons rum or brandy or gran marnier

How to make it….

1. Place suet, flour, cocoa powder, breadcrumbs, spices, sugar, chocolate chips, raisins, currants, stem ginger, pecans, chopped or grated apple and the orange zest in a large bowl and mix together.

2. In a separate bowl mix the orange juice, eggs, stout and rum, brandy or Gran Marnier together.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir everything until well mixed. This is traditionally the time when you would gather all the family together to each have a turn at mixing the pudding and maybe making a wish. The mixture should be quite sloppy, if it is too dry then add a little more stout. Cover and leave overnight in a cool place.

4. Grease your pudding bowl and pour in the mixture, cover with a double sheet of grease proof paper and sheet of foil and tie it securely with string.

5. Stand the pudding on a trivet or upside-down saucer in a saucepan with around 5cm of water in the bottom or in a steamer over a pan of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 6-8 hours until a skewer inserted into the pudding comes out clean. If you are using an AGAthen steam on the simmering plate for 30 minutes, transfer to the simmering oven for 4-6 hours. Leave to cool and store somewhere cool such as an unheated spare room

6. To reheat on the day, steam for 2 1?2 hours.