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carina in print – Daily record

24 December 2018

Yum Yum Christmas Pudding by Carina Contini in the Daily Record Monday 24th December 2018

This is my maternal grandmother’s recipe that she brought back from a trip to America in the 1950s. It’s so good we’ve made it every year since and it’s the only recipe we use for the Christmas pudding in our three Edinburgh restaurants.

Serves 6 – 8


400ml cold water
250g golden caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
3 tbsp treacle
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp of ground mixed spice
750g dried seedless muscatel raisins (soaked overnight in brandy or marsala)
150ml brandy, marsala wine to soak the raisins and to treat the cake once baked
450g plain flour
3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of fine sea salt
Granulated sugar
A dash of brandy to set a light

1. Before you start with the cake, soak the seedless muscatel raisins overnight in the brandy or marsala.
2. Place the water, sugar, butter, treacle, spices and fruit into a large pot and stir. Very slowly bring it to the boil. Switch the heat off and allow the mixture to cool. It is vital the mixture is cool, but not cold, before you add the sieved flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the mixture. Stir well – this needs a bit of elbow grease.
3. Generously butter a large 1kg pudding bowl or plastic basin with lid. Placed a circle of baking parchment at the bottom of the bowl to stop it sticking when you turn the pudding out.
4. Fill the bowl and cover with another circle of baking parchment and then either use the plastic matching lid or wrap a double layer of foil and parchment around the pudding and tie tightly with string.
5. Choose a large pot that the pudding will fit in and allow enough space to half-fill with water. Place a saucer at the bottom of the pot – this is an insurance policy if you forget to top up the water half way through the steaming. Steam for about three hours.