Alternative Christmas Pudding

December's sampler for you. Comprising of phone photos previously posted on instagram.
Top row~ a speckled yellowing quince leaf, the sun setting over the River Severn, a beautiful door hinge on the Tything in Worcester.
Middle row ~ Father Christmas on my christmas tree, alternative Christmas pudding, windfall apples
Bottom row ~ part of Worcester Cathedral, footpath along the river, pollarded chestnuts by the river.

You want to know about the pudding don't you?
It's from a little book published for Sainsbury's in 1978. It's called Cooking For Christmas by Josceline Dimbleby. I am indebted to Niki for telling me about both the book and the pudding. It was a doddle to make and made a delightful alternative to the traditional Christmas pud which a lot of people dislike. It is essentially a chocolate biscuit cake in pudding form. Here is the recipe.

Chocolate Crunch Christmas Pudding
from Cooking For Christmas by Josceline Dimbleby

6oz (150g) butter
3 tablespoons golden syrup
8oz (200g) plain chocolate
6oz (150g) crushed ginger biscuits
6oz (150g) crushed plain sweet biscuits (I used digestives)
1oz (25g) currants (I used chopped crystallised ginger)
3oz (75g) raisins
2oz (50g) glacé cherries, roughly chopped (I used dried cranberries)
1oz (25g) candied peel
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons rum or brandy

3oz (75g) plain chocolate
1 tablespoon water
1oz (25g) butter
2-3 halved glacé cherries
sprig of holly

Grease a 2 pint (1.2l) pudding basin

Melt butter, syrup and chocolate together in a saucepan.
Stir in all the other ingredients and pack the mixture into the basin. Refrigerate.
When the pudding has set completely dip it briefly in hot water to loosen and turn out onto a plate.
To make the icing melt the chocolate with the water and stir in the butter. Stir until smooth and allow to cool slightly before pouring over the pudding. Decorate with the cherries and holly. Keep the pudding in the fridge.

It would make a great celebratory dessert for New Year's Day or indeed any special day. You could simply press the mixture into a square cake tin and spread the icing over if you don't want the Christmas look.

Happy New Year to you all!



  1. I have a friend for whom that will make the perfect gift next year, thank you for sharing the recipe!

  2. I'm sure I had that book, as I was married in 1977 & it's the sort of book I would have bought. Pud looks scrummy. HNY!

  3. Boy oh boy, Sue, you've served us up a beautiful December sampler, and then topped it off with the gift of this recipe. I've made a note of it...for next year.

    I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! xo

  4. I could just eat that now - all of it!

    Happy New Year to you!

  5. Thanks for posting this ! And for the alternative tin to put it in - sounds so good I think I will make for Easter and put some of those teeny tiny yellow chicks on it !
    Happy New Year, Sue, from Chicago; love your blog and glad you are back !

  6. Brilliant idea for a pudding! I have a few of JD's books (though not the Christmas one) and I've used that recipe before but never would have thought of it as an alternative to the usual pud.
    Happy New Year, Sue!

  7. Great photos of Worcester! All the best for 2016, Jx

  8. Anonymous5:06 pm GMT

    Always enjoy reading the blog and seeing what's cooking in your kitchen. Wishing you a Very Happy New! Judy

  9. I know someone who would like that pudding - but the rest of us are staunch Christmas pud fans, even the three yearold. Happy New Year,see you soon.

  10. I think my family would enjoy this a whole lot more than the traditional version.

    Happy new year to you Sue! X

  11. Anonymous6:16 pm GMT

    It's a giant chocolate tiffin pudding! If only I wasn't stuffed full to the top of my head with chocolate and cake and mince pies. I can barely move as it is... Here's wishing you a fabulous new year Sue. Sam x

  12. Thank you so much. When I saw the photo on Instagram I was hoping you'd post the recipe. This is exactly my idea of a Christmas pudding.

  13. Wishing you and your family a very happy New Year. Look forward to reading your blog in 2016 (I'm quite new) and your fabulous cooking.

  14. Wishing you and your family a very happy New Year. Look forward to reading your blog in 2016 (I'm quite new) and your fabulous cooking.

  15. Looks delicious! Can you answer (for a reader from California) what you mean by "plain chocolate"? Happy New Year to you from another reader who's happy you're back.

    1. Hi Kathy, I think you would call plain chocolate dark chocolate (it's often called that here now, this recipe is pretty old). Not milk chocolate.

    2. Thanks for that clarification. In the U.S. we'd buy bittersweet chocolate.

  16. Anonymous7:52 am GMT

    Hi Sue, Hoping you had a happy family Christmas and New Year. Trust you are not caught up in the flooding. Here in Australia, we are varying between flooding in the North and horrible bush fires in the South.
    Loving the look of this Dessert. I am fighting hard to maintain my largish calorie total, so may give it a try!!!!!!!!. All the best for 2016. Sheridan in Queensland.

  17. Anonymous2:06 pm GMT

    Oh this looks and sounds divine. But too much cake over the past year has already taken its toll, so I'll have to save it till I've earned it a bit more.
    Just dropped by to say thanks for (yet) another year of lovely blogging, and wish you a very happy and healthy 2016. Deborah xxxx

  18. Anonymous7:26 pm GMT

    Thanks for sharing the recipe for the pudding, and the sampler. Linda

  19. Gorgeous sampler Sue. Happy New Year to you and your faimily.

  20. You've made it look even more festive with the cherries on top!
    Have you ever seen Nigella's chocolate salame (right spelling I hope!). Essentially a chocolate biscuit salami, dusted in icing sugar, and cut into thick discs. Some of the ingredients put me off, can't remember why now, but that's another one that looks good.
    I was wondering if the same could be done but using this pudding's ingredients, shaping them into a long log as it holds together well after chilling, with or without the melted chocolate?
    Quite a nice gift if you tied it up with string, like a salami, and also not Christmassy.

    1. I haven't seen Nigella's version but I've seen other chocolate salame, I think it's a traditional Christmas thing in Italy. Oh the possibilities of crushed biscuits and chocolate!

  21. Anonymous3:26 pm GMT

    Hello Sue Lovely pictures - it is so nice to be able to read your posts again. I have that book but never tried the pudding which I will do in future! Happy New Year to you and your family.

  22. I do a Bill Granger orange chocolate pudding on the day - my family aren't bothered for Christmas puddings. And it gives me an excuse to buy Terrys Chocolate Oranges which are vital to the recipe, but I can never QUITE remember how many I need...

    1. At least one extra in case of accidents.

  23. Thanks for the Christmas pud recipe, it does sound delicious.


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