Christine’s.

Christine's is a home cook that's been doing Christmas puddings for decades now. I was honestly sceptical of Christmas pudding, in general, but this rendition is sweet, delicious and not too heavy. At Rs. 1,250 it's also good value for the whole family. It's especially tasty if you cover it with brandy and light it on fire, as below:

Note that it's wise to pour 1-2 spoons of brandy over the pudding and then light the third and pour that over.

The Pudding

Christmas Pudding – and I'm a novice here – looks like a cake but definitely is not. It actually doesn't seem to have much flour in it at all. It's more a mix of booze-soaked fruit and spices, with just enough flour to bind it together. Christine's recipe consists of dried and crystallized fruits and mixed spices soaked in brandy and stout (beer). Then she mixes in the traditional cake stuff (flour, sugar, eggs, butter) and it's steamed (not baked) for several hours.

Prior to this, I thought Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding were the same thing, but they're not at all. This really is a pudding.

The final touch here is the brandy lit on fire and poured on top. It's quite beautiful (do it in the dark) and just a fun way of interacting with your food. But nevermind that, how's the taste?

With vanilla ice cream to balance it, I loved this rendition of a pudding. You get the natural sweetness of the dried fruit and there's such a variety that each bite is always interesting. It's actually perfect for the season – warm and decadent. 

For me, the association to break was with the ubiquitous Christmas/wedding cake you get everywhere in Sri Lanka. Christine's pudding is steamed rather than baked and that, plus the generous amount of booze, makes it much more pleasant to eat. 

Conclusion

Christine's makes a sweet, boozy and fun Christmas Pudding. It tastes great with ice cream and is good fun to gather around and set, briefly, on fire.

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