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Christmas Pudding Cream and Flaming

Asked by ChristmasSam. Answered on 24th December 2013

Full question

Please can you suggest a cream/butter that I could serve with Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding instead of the Eggnog Sauce? Also, could I use a different spirit (other than vodka) to light the pudding? Thank you!

Hello, Can I use Brandy instead of Sherry and Vodka for the ultimate Christmas pudding? I did read you prefer Sherry but wonder if it will make too much difference? alternatively I have Port? Thank you Janet

Our answer

Nigella suggests Eggnog Cream (from Christmas and on the Nigella website) as an easy accompaniment to the Ultimate Christmas Pudding but she also mentions that a version can be made with brandy (we suggest 5 tablespoons, or to taste) and about 2 tablespoons of icing (confectioner's) sugar. We have also made a version with 5 tablespoons of good-quality bourbon and 2 tablespoons maple syrup and again you can adjust quantities to your own taste. Nigella has also suggested Cointreau Cream as an alternative in her book, Christmas. Whip 250ml (1 cup) double (heavy) cream to soft peaks then whisk in 3 tablespoons (or to taste) of Cointreau, Grand Marnier or triple sec.

Good chilled cream (either the pouring type or the spooning type) is a great accompaniment to the pudding and some people like vanilla ice cream with their pudding. Traditionally puddings are served with a flavoured sweet butter, or hard sauce. Nigella has recipes for Rum and Brandy Butters and Bourbon Butter on p190 of her book Christmas, or try the Salted Caramel Brandy Butter on the Nigella website.

Nigella uses sherry for soaking the fruit for the pudding and vodka for flaming her pudding as it has a high alcohol content and so it burns very well. You can use any other high alcohol liquor that you have to hand for flaming the pudding (though not a fortified wine, such as port) and cognac/brandy and whisky are often traditional choices. Port could be used for soaking the fruits for the pudding but make sure it is a sweet variety of port.

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