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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Rich Christmas pudding with muscat custard


This traditional pudding is rich with dark fruit and spiked with muscat. Serve with plenty of fresh raspberries for a taste of summer. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

300 gm pitted prunes, finely chopped 150 gm each currants, raisins and dried cranberries 150 gm pitted fresh dates, finely chopped 100 gm natural almonds, finely chopped 100 gm finely chopped candied orange peel 1 orange, finely grated rind and juice only 125 ml muscat 60 ml Grand Marnier 60 gm quince paste, coarsely chopped 250 gm softened butter 250 gm brown sugar 3 eggs 200 gm fine fresh sourdough breadcrumbs 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour 150 ml milk 2 tsp each cinnamon and mixed spice ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda To serve: raspberries   Muscat custard 375 ml (1½ cups) pouring cream 75 ml milk 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 6 egg yolks 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar 150 ml muscat

Method

  • 01
  • Combine prunes, currants, raisins, cranberries, dates, almonds, candied orange peel and orange rind in a bowl. Combine orange juice, muscat, Grand Marnier and quince paste in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until quince paste is melted (4-5 minutes), then pour over dried fruit mixture, stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and stand for 4 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.
  • 02
  • Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs, flour, milk, spices, bicarbonate of soda and ½ tsp sea salt, stir to combine, then stir in dried fruit mixture. Spoon mixture into a well-buttered 2½ litre-capacity pudding basin, cover closely with a round of baking paper, then with two layers of foil, and secure with string.
  • 03
  • Place pudding in a large saucepan, pour in enough hot water to reach just below rim, cover and simmer over low heat for 5 hours, adding more hot water as necessary. Cool in basin for 20 minutes.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for muscat custard, bring cream, milk, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale (2-3 minutes), then pour over cream mixture, whisking continuously to combine. Return to pan, stir over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (3-4 minutes), strain through a sieve into a bowl, stir through muscat and set aside. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 1 litre.
  • 05
  • To serve, unmould pudding, dust heavily with icing sugar and serve with muscat custard and raspberries. Pudding can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. To reheat, steam again in basin in a large saucepan of simmering water for 1½ hours.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

Old Rutherglen muscat.

Featured in

Dec 2009

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