Sunday, 19 December 2010
The song, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" has firmly immortalized figgy pudding in the Christmas lexicon. But what exactly is a "Figgy Pudding?"
The figgy pudding dates back to the 16th century in England, where traditionally it was served at the very end of the large Christmas meal. It was so much a part of the culture that even Charles Dickens references figgy pudding sitting on the table of Bob Cratchit in his masterpiece “A Christmas Carol.”
Figgy pudding became quite popular in England because many English gardens contained fig trees. And while many recipes called for actual figs to be used, those recipes slowly replaced figs with the cheaper product raisins instead.
I think we can safely say that, in these modern times, a "Figgy Pudding" is more or less what we have come to know and love as "Christmas Pudding." A delightful steamed concoction of vine fruits, spices, eggs, flour, etc. A must have with Christmas dinner along with hard sauce or brandy cream!
These delicious little concoctions are wonderful little chocolate truffles made using leftover Christmas Pudding, chocolate and sherry. Topped with some melted white chocolate and some green and red snipped glace cherries, they manage to look just like a traditional Figgy Pudding!
I think Dickens would approve.
*Figgie Pudding Truffles*
Makes about 3 dozen
Even if you think you don't like Christmas Pudding, I think you will like these! Messy to make but on-so-scrummy when done!
125g of good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (4 ounces)
350g of leftover or freshly cooked and cooled Christmas pudding (about a cup and a half, packed)
60ml of sweet sherry (1/3 cup) (Can use fruit juice)
2 TBS of golden syrup (or corn syrup)
100g of good quality white chocolate, finely chopped (3.5 ounces)
6 red glace cherries, chopped into small bits
6 green glace cherries, sliced into slivers
(Can use green sprinkles if that's all you have)
Line a large baking sheet with cling film. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Crumble the pudding into a bowl and crush somewhat with a fork. Stir in the sherry, golden syrup and melted chocolate, mixing all together well. Now comes the messy part. Using cold hands that you have just washed and dried, pinch out walnut sized balls of the mixture and shape between your palms into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat, washing hands again as necessary, until you have used up all the mixture. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour. Remove and place each in a tiny paper case.
Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
Have all your decorations ready. Using a teaspoon, spoon a little white chocolate over each truffle, one at a time, and apply the cherries to resemble holly leaves and berries on top. ( I like to use tweezers to apply these. It's a lot easier than using the fingers.)
To give away, place in small decorative boxes, lined with tissue paper. They are also lovely handed around with drinks after dinner.