In a couple of days it will be Stir Up Sunday, the traditional day when bakers make their Christmas cakes, mincemeat and puddings. I always get very excited on this day as the aromas and fragrances of the coming season fill the house and we all take a turn to stir the bowl as we make a wish. However there is one big downside to the pudding making and that is the amount of steam generated when cooking them. All the widows are steamed over for the four hours it takes to cook the puddings and any fondant decorations I have out totally wilt.
So this year I decided to try an experiment. I normally reheat the puddings in the microwave, so why not cook them in there too, and it works, they cook in twelve minutes, so you don’t have to hang around the kitchen for hours. Of course if you think what I am suggesting is sacrilege then please feel free to steam them in the traditional manner.
One of the best features with this type of pudding is that you can use any fruit you like as long as it comes to the same weight as the fruit in the recipe, and use any alcohol you wish as long as it has a good flavour.
The pureed prunes add a lovely caramel, toffee taste to the pud and creates a moister crumb too, and the melted chocolate increases the richness.
I cooked my pudding on full power for four lots of four minutes, leaving it to rest for a minute in between each blast. If you insert a cake tester or skewer into the center of the pudding it will come out clean once it is cooked. As soon as it has finished cooking pour over three tablespoons of the Armagnac. Cover the bowl in clingfilm and feed (pour over more Armagnac) every week.
To reheat cook for two minutes in the microwave, again on full power, let it rest for a minute and then cook for another two minutes.
You can find a recipe for mincemeat here.