almond puddings with christmas pudding ice cream

Use up any leftover Christmas pudding and marzipan in this festive sponge pudding recipe.

For this recipe you will need 4 individual pudding moulds or dariole moulds 10cm/4in in diameter.

By John Torode
From Saturday Kitchen

for the ice cream
200g/7oz Christmas pudding
2 tbsp brandy
50g/1¾oz marzipan, chopped into small pieces
400g/14oz vanilla ice cream

for the almond pudding
150g/5½oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g/5½oz caster sugar
2 tsp almond essence
3 medium free-range eggs
150g/5½oz self-raising flour
1 tbsp full-fat milk
4 x 10cm/4in discs marzipan
For the brandy butter sauce
300ml/10fl oz milk
100g/3½oz caster sugar
100ml/3½fl oz brandy
1 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot
20g/¾oz butter

For the Christmas pudding ice cream, mash up the Christmas pudding, then add the brandy, chopped marzipan and mix. Stir in the ice cream and return to the freezer to set.
Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3.

For the almond puddings, cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the almond essence, then stir in the eggs one by one (add a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle). When the eggs are combined stir in the rest of the flour. Stir in the milk, if necessary, to make a soft dropping consistency.

Grease 4 individual pudding moulds and place a circle of baking paper in the bottom of each. Press a disc of marzipan into the bottom of each mould. Spoon or pipe the pudding mixture into the moulds, leaving room for them to rise. Tap to remove any air pockets.

Place the moulds in a deep roasting dish and add enough boiling water to come half way up the sides of the moulds. Bake for 25 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Leave to cool a little in the moulds.

Meanwhile, make the brandy butter sauce. Put the milk and the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir in the brandy.

Mix the cornflour or arrowroot with 50ml/2fl oz cold water to make a milky solution free of lumps. Pour the mixture into the hot milk. Whisking all the time, simmer for 5 minutes to cook out the cornflour (do not boil or it will break down the cornflour, though arrowroot will be fine).

Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir. If any lumps have appeared, strain the sauce. Whisk in the butter and keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve, turn the puddings out onto serving plates. Add a scoop or two of ice cream and finish with the sauce.