Steamed Cranberry-Ginger Pudding

IMG_5618In our childhood home, Christmas dinner used to always end with a suet pudding with hard sauce.  Lovingly made a month or so ahead of time to be part of the day’s celebrations.  Unfortunately, most of us children didn’t like the pudding.  It was too heavy following an exhausting day and a big dinner.  Even when we were told the stories of how our Grandmother used to make this very same pudding using her mother’s recipe (I know we have it somewhere, and when found, I’ll share it with you), we still weren’t enamored enough to enjoy it.

When our children were young, I started making a very simple gingerbread type pudding with cranberries and orange.  We would serve it with caramel sauce, and with a Grand Marnier hard sauce for the adults.  It made a great breakfast for Boxing Day, and became a bit of a tradition, until I lost my recipe.  I’ve been meaning to work it out over the past decade or so, but never seemed to get around to it.

This weekend, I finally did get around to it, and came up with individual puddings, which look so nice when plated.  Drizzle the plate with a bit of caramel sauce; place the pudding on top, with a small dollop of whipped cream.  Fancy, but not too fancy, just what’s needed after a feast.  Or just serve the puddings, and let folks pass the sauce & whip cream, and let them do it themselves.

Alternatively, you can douse the hot puddings with heated brandy and serve them flambé, or maybe just one to lead in with. IMG_5651 Continue reading

Lava Cakes

The first time I made this dessert, I made it for 6, as the recipe instructs.  The next time it was for 12 and so on.  I’ve successfully made 60 for dinner, with no mishaps, it is a very simple dessert, and you’ll only be limited by the amount of ramekins you have on hand.  That being said, I have made mini ones using a muffin pan.  You need to watch the timing if using muffin tins as they’re metal and hold less than a ¾ c ramekin.

These are a wonderful dessert for a dinner party.  The individual cakes can be made ahead and then popped in the oven 20 minutes before serving.  For anyone who loves the richness of chocolate these will be just the ticket, however they’re not particularly heavy, the portions are moderate, and when served with a tart raspberry coulis make a great ending to a meal. Continue reading