WEEK TWO - CHRISTMAS BAKE WITH ME SERIES
This recipe was a Christmas tradition in my home growing up. My Mum preparing these delicious puddings was the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season. The pudding, complete with homemade caramel sauce (no less), is easy to prepare and warm, hearty, rich, and beyond delicious to serve! It is a recipe that my Mum is often asked to share and so it's with great excitement (and a tad bit of nostalgia) that I share this favourite holiday treat with you!
RECIPE (yields two puddings, and enough caramel sauce for both cakes):
Cranberry Pudding Ingredients: -2 2/3 cups white flour -2 cups cranberries -2 tsp baking powder -4 tsp baking soda -1 cup (fancy) molasses -1 cup boiled hot water
Caramel Sauce Ingredients: -1 cup white sugar -1 cup cold water -1 cup butter (the real deal) -1 cup heavy (35%) whipping cream -Splash of vanilla
Steamed Cranberry Pudding:
- Prepared tobacco cans or similar (the tobacco cans used in this recipe measure 4" across the top and 4" in height, larger tin cans will work so long as the measurements are comparable) by greasing and flouring the inside of the lid and interior of the can.
- Fill a large pot that will accommodate both cans (or one pot per can) with water that goes half way up the can. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Chop the cranberries in half and set aside.
- Mix all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda) in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add to the cranberries the molasses and boiling hot water, mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing well using a sturdy spoon or preferably large spatula.
- Once the batter has been formed, divide in half between the two cans.
- Cover the cans with the lids. If you're not using tobacco cans, make a homemade lid by combining double or triple layers of tinfoil and tie with string around the top of the can (this is to ensure the steam, needed to cook the pudding, does not escape).
- (Now the cans are ready for the hot tub -- woo hoo!). Add the two cans to the already boiling pot(s), cover with the pot lid, and continue to let boil for one hour.
- At this time, prepare the caramel sauce!
Caramel Sauce (the best you'll ever have... just sayin')
- Over medium-high heat place sugar in the center of the pot.
- Pour the water all around the sugar *Important: do NOT stir this mixture at any point*
- Boil this mixture until no steam remains and the water has evaporated
- Watch carefully for the first sign of a change in colour
- When a change in colour has been noted, swirl pot around so the colour spreads evenly
- When the mixture is a light golden colour, remove from heat and place on a heat-resistant surface.
- First, add the butter, then splash of vanilla, and lastly whipping cream. Whisk the mixture between each ingredient being added.
- Once all the ingredients have been incorporated, pour the caramel into a glass jar to cool and thicken. When it's cool, refrigerate.
The puddings do well preserved in both the fridge (one week) and freezer (several months). To prepare, heat enough caramel sauce for the number of slices being served. Slightly warm the slices of cake; either pour caramel sauce on the bottom of plate for the cake to sit in or drizzle on top. If you want to get really fancy, add a dollop of real whipping cream! Whichever way you serve this delicious treat, you're sure to be in cranberry pudding heaven!