Being an Anglophile I will admit to a love of traditional English Christmas, the crackers and paper crowns and the Christmas Pudding! More specifically the brandy sauce for the pudding, the pudding itself is not my favorite, dense and filled with dried fruit, must be an acquired taste… My version features a moist chocolate cake drenched in flamed brandy then smothered with a creamy brandy sauce. It tastes like Christmas! (For adults…)
A Few Tips
- When you cook the cake it’s basically baking in a water bath. You cover the container with parchment paper and tin foil then seal it tightly with a string and fold the edges in so the parchment paper isn’t exposed to the water. Then you let it “steam” for about 90 minutes or longer depending on the size of your container. I happened to have a set of semi-spherical cake pans but you could use a bowl instead.
- Make sure you seal these cakes well as water seeping in will not make for the Merriest of Christmases.
- In my humble opinion these cakes are all about that dark rum, or brandy if you’d prefer. SO go ahead and drench that cake and then cover it in that boozy sauce!
- You can make the puddings (cakes) a day in advance, wrap them in plastic and store are room temperature. You will want to flame the cake at the table, it’s so dramatic and fun.
Heat the brandy and brown sugar mixture in a metal ladle over a gas flame you’ll see flames licking the surface as it reaches the optimal temperature. Pour on the cake liberally and then cover in the white brandy sauce and serve! Pour more brandy sauce on the cut pieces and serve, it’s really all about the sauce to be honest!
- For the cakes; in a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together then add the sugar, espresso, brandy, vanilla, eggs, begetable oil and sour cream. Whisk until combined.
- Liberally grease 3 semi-sphere cake molds and fill them up halfway. Now cut 3 circles out of tin foil that are 1.5 inches larger than the cake molds. Cut 3 circles of parchment paper that should be about 1 inch larger than the mold.
- Layer the tin foil circle and parchment circle so that it covers the mold and create a seal by tying a piece of strong twine around the lip of the mold. Fold the excess foil and paper underneath. Fill a large pot ½ way with boiling water and steam the cakes in the pot for about 1 ½ hours. When done, open up the mold carefully, flip over, and let them cool.
- For the sauce; melt the butter in a small pot. Add in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Now add in scalding milk and cook for about 10 minutes or until it thickens up then add the brown sugar, vanilla and dark rum.
- For the cake flame; use a metal ladle to heat brandy and sugar mixture over the gas flame on high. Tip the ladle a bit and once a flame appears, its ready. Infuse the cake by pouring the mixture onto the cake.
- Now pour the sauce over the brandy infusion and enjoy!
If you’ve tried this pudding then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
For the Pudding:
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¾ cups vegetable oil
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons espresso
- 2 ½ tablespoons brandy
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 pint milk whole scalded.
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons brandy or dark rum
For the Cake Flame:
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons brandy
For the Cakes:
- In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together, then add the sugar.
- Add in espresso, brandy, vanilla, eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream. Whisk until combined.
- Liberally grease 3 semi-sphere cake molds. Fill halfway.
- Cut 3 circles out of tin foil. They need to be 1.5 inches larger than the cake molds. Cut 3 circles of parchment paper. These should be about 1 inch larger than the mold.
- Layer the tin foil circle and parchment circle so that it covers the mold.
- Create a seal by tying a piece of strong twine around the lip of the mold. Fold the excess foil and paper underneath.
- Fill a large pot ½ way with boiling water.
- Steam the cakes in the pot for about 1 ½ hours.
- Open up the mold carefully.
- Flip over and let cool.
For the Cake Flame:
- Use a metal ladle to heat brandy and sugar mixture over the gas flame on high.
- If you tip the ladle a bit, a flame will appear and catch the brandy on fire. It’s ready.
- Infuse the cake by pouring the mixture onto the cake.
For the Sauce:
- Melt the butter. Add in flour. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add in scalding milk and cook for about 10 minutes or until it thickens up.
- Add brown sugar, vanilla and dark rum.
- Pour the sauce over the brandy infusion.
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