So you know when all those carolers are standing at your front door singing Christmas carols and they get to the second verse of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”? Well I’m solving your figgy pudding problems. Didn’t know you had figgy pudding problems? Well you do.
My guess is you probably haven’t made figgy pudding yet this year. Or any maybe any year. Fear not! I have a recipe for you! Of course I couldn’t just do boring figgy pudding. I took t up a couple notches with a butter brandy sauce and candied oranges. Yes I know, sounds amazing. It IS amazing.
I have never made a figgy pudding before but now I think it might be a tradition. It’s actually a cake, not a pudding at all. The base flavor is figs, dates and chocolate, but it resembles a generally dense chocolate cake but with only a hint of the chocolate flavor. It’s as probably as close to fruitcake as I’ll get this holiday season.
When I decided to make figgy pudding, I knew it needed some memorable accompaniments. Because it’s such a dense cake, it needed a moist sauce and what is better than a butter brandy sauce? It was simple to make and really simple to dump all over my car trunk. Yes, I had taken it to my parents’ house for dinner and when I packed up the leftovers, the lid for the sauce wasn’t on all the way. It fell over in the bag I packed it in and promptly doused my trunk in a butter, brandy sugar bath. It was sooo much fun to clean it up! I can’t even explain!
So anyways, I have figgy pudding with an amazing sauce but I need something to brighten it up. Citrus is actually in season right now and that would lend the right touch of acid to the cake. I did a quick candy on them and they were beyond perfect and pretty as a garnish on my figgy puddings.
So here’s my thought. You make these individual figgy puddings. You put them in your fridge. At the first note of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” warbled out by those carolers, you stick the cake in the microwave on low for a few seconds, add sauce ad candied orange slices and – the carolers will leave at the end of the song! Ta da! Now there is no more excuses for carolers hanging around at all hours of the night for figgy pudding. Your welcome.
If you want some additional thoughts on figgy pudding check out this comedy moment from Gary Gulman.
- 1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
- 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 75 grams (2 1/2-ounces) dark chocolate, grated
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons brandy
- 2 oranges sliced very thinly
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- For the candied oranges, bring a saucepan half filled with water to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook for 1 minute. Remove orange slices and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Dump the water out of the pot, add the sugar and water over medium high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add the orange slices back in and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour. Remove orange slices to a cooling rack to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the figgy pudding, add the dates, dried figs and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender and puree.
- In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture and the chocolate.
- Spray a regular sized muffin tin with non-stick spray. Fill with batter until just shy of the top rim. Cook for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- For the sauce, mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on half power for 30 seconds at a time until the butter is melted. Whisk together until mixed well.
- Serve a warm cake with a pour of sauce and a candied orange on top.