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Chocolate Christmas Sponge Pudding

Asked by AlisoninNewYork. Answered on 10th December 2014

Full question

Hi there, I have recently moved to NYC from the UK and can't find double cream here. I want to make the steamed chocolate pudding for Christmas. Can I use heavy cream in the sauce without dire consequence? Or do you have a different sauce recipe please? Thank you, Alison.

I'd like to steam my Chocolate Pudding For Christmas Pudding Haters in the slow cooker, as I have done with traditional puddings. Is this possible, and if so how long would I allow? I have limited cooker space! Thank you! Caroline

I would like to make Nigella's Steamed Chocolate Pudding for Boxing Day contribution when we go to friends for a big celebration that day. I'm going to be mega busy that day and also for ease of transportation it would be great if I could make it in advance. Is this possible, will it keep ok? Also I was thinking of chucking a few cherries for added interest, would I have to alter the recipe at all to allow for them?

Is it ok to use a metal steamer in place of a plastic one please? Wickster.

Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Pudding For Christmas Pudding Haters (from Christmas and on the Nigella website) is a steamed chocolate sponge pudding that has a Hot Chocolate Sauce which is a mixture of milk and dark (bittersweet) chocolate, double cream and golden syrup. We have made the sauce with heavy cream and it works well. As with double cream, make sure that you melt the ingredients together gently over a low heat.

Lyle's golden syrup is available in many supermarkets in New York but if you have trouble finding it then you can use light corn syrup as an alternative. The main issue with heavy cream is that it has a lower fat content than double cream (it is closer to UK whipping cream) and it does not tend to hold very well once it has been whipped. So you are best whipping it just before you use it. Also if you need to add ingredients to the whipped cream (for example if you are making a syllabub or the no churn ice creams) then whip the cream to soft peaks first and then fold or whisk in any additional ingredients.

Unfortunately we have not tried to cook the sponge pudding in a slow cooker though we understand that it may be possible. The pudding is on the large side so our guess would be that you would need to cook it for about 4 hours on a high setting. However it is best to check your slow cooker handbook for more specific instructions.

We have reheated leftovers of the Chocolate Pudding, however we do think that the pudding is at its best when it is freshly cooked. When cooled and reheated the sponge can become a little more dense. If you do want to reheat the pudding then it is best done in a microwave. We have only reheated slices (which take about a minute each) but for a full pudding you could try high for 3 minutes, stand for 2 minutes and then high in 1 to 2 minute blasts until the pudding is hot all of the way through. The sauce can be reheated gently in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water, stirring occasionally or in 10 second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between each burst.

Most steamers themselves are metal so we suspect the reference to a steamer may actually be to the bowl itself. It is fine to use a metal pudding mould or bowl but if it does not have a lid then you need to make sure no steam gets in. We suggest that you put a circle of baking parchment over the top of the pudding batter then wrap the bowl tightly in a double layer of clingfilm (Plastic wrap) and a double layer of foil.

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