There are two major problems with Christmas Pudding. The first being, that 99% of us, think that it’s total fucking muck. No matter how much Jameson you lob in there and incinerate it, for me it still tastes like someone found a dead magpie in a ditch and threw it in a blender with some raisins.
The second problem with Christmas pudding, is that the 99% of us who hate it, never get our shit together to present a half decent alternative. It’s like we don’t want to insult the 1% who actually remember to get a pudding (nobody makes them anymore), because if you refuse it, you’re branded as being a wet sponge anti-christmas killjoy. And with all the shite we have to get sorted, you can be hardly be blamed to “forget the Chrimbo pud”, especially when at the back of your mind, you want everybody to consign the bloody thing to oblivion anyway.
But here’s something that might help out the fellow 99 percenters. It’s a recipe given to me last week by me good pal Sinéad. She is an exceptionally deadly cook and for the last decade or so, this cake has been a firm favourite in her “Can Not Go Wrong” collection. She’s right. I made it with my two small nippers on Sunday and it was bang on easy.
Her recipe is a Tunisian Almond & Orange Cake, but for the purposes of lashing something out for the festive season, I have altered it to pump up out the Christmas bling tastes. If you want, you can always make it in advance and freeze it. Or just make it on Christmas Eve. Either way, you will be a dinner table hero of the people. Fuck the 1 percent.
CHRIMBO DRIZZLE CAKE
MIX THESE DRY INGREDIENTS:
45g Slightly Stale White Breadcrumbs
200g Caster Sugar
100g Ground Almonds
1 and a half level teaspoons Baking Powder
MIX THESE WET INGREDIENTS:
200ml Sunflower/Vegetable Oil
4 medium eggs
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
MAKE YOUR SYRUP BY…
Putting half a pint of water in a small pot with:
1 cup of caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon of all spice
2 cardamom pods
2 thumb sized pieces of skinned, fresh ginger
2 star anise
Bring it all up to the boil, then let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Let it cool, then strain into a jug.
TO BAKE THE CAKE:
Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix.
Pour into greased 8-inch loose bottom baking tin (I used a brownie tray, that works too).
Place in cold oven and set to 190 degrees. Bake for 45/50 minutes until top is golden brown and skewer comes out clean (oily is okay). I find it can take longer depending on the oven. If you think it’s getting too brown on top, just stick a saucepan lid on top.
Allow to cool and remove from tin. Place on plate with raised lip, or in shallow bowl. (or keep in tin if transporting…….). Prick the surface of the cake with a toothpick or skewer. Pour over about half of the syrup. Then mix the rest in with some decent Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche and dollop on each serving.
For those of you with a fear of baking, the inside should look like that. As a recovering baking-phobe, I know these images can help.