O Christmas Trees

                                                               "Love, Peace & Joy"

DSC_8368_1024x678    Traditional Christmas puddings covered with sugarpaste double as edible Christmas decorations.

Less than two months to Christmas! I love the spirit of Christmas, the message of salvation through Jesus, the joy of families getting together in the last few days of the year, and of course, the food, the fun and the whole atmosphere of love, peace and joy.

Making the Christmas puddings brought Christmas to my house yesterday. I was singing Christmas carols and missing my daughter and oldest son. This will be the second year that my daughter won't be home for Christmas. I'm looking forward to having my son Ming around. He was Masterchef Monash two years ago and it's great when he and Wey are in the kitchen. Ming's the guy we trust with risottos while Wey not just cooks great pasta, he makes them. I love it when Ming and Yi have their friends over for rowdy nights of volleyball, cards (yes, but no gambling), Guitar Hero and new games that Ming brings home from Melbourne. 7 weeks to go.

The cone-shaped Jelliriffic! Nick Munro moulds are perfect for making little Christmas puddings which you can decorate into Christmas trees and give as presents to friends. I've used moulding sugarpaste/fondant to cover the puddings because they can last longer than buttercream. Sugarpaste is such a cinch to work with and I had so much fun this morning making these trees. If I had more time, I'd make a tree with the tiniest ornaments. Candy sticks, wrapped presents, bells, ooh.

We got the pudding burning alright but the flames didn't show on the photos so we moved into the storeroom where it was dark. It was fun and gorgeous when the 'tree' lighted up, flames of blue, purple and red dancing on the tree and around the plate. I can imagine the drama of bringing a lighted Chistmas pudding to the dining table, with all the lights switched off. Yes, that's what I'll do this Christmas. Thank you, Olympus for the giveaway camera and Royal Selangor Pewter for the beautiful moulds. I hope the collection from the sales of the mould will be beyond expectations. I am sure the other 9 bloggers are also relieved to have completed (almost) the 30-day Challenge and happy that their efforts have helped to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Welfare Association Of Malaysia. If you haven't yet bought the mould, tomorrow is the last day to do so. In the spirit of Christmas, give generously to bless others!

DSC_8311_509x768                          My Christmas pudding is white. That's what happens when you omit the treacle and forget the sugar! No worries, I have the moulds and I'll make more for Christmas. The flames didn't show up in this photo.

DSC_8343_509x768                         Lucky that today is Saturday and Hub was around to help me light the pudding. The last time I flambeed anything was when I made crepes suzette (remember those?) to impress my ex-boyfriend. He's now my Hub.

DSC_8345_509x768                           In our dark storeroom the flames were beautiful. Even the plate was lighted up.
Christmas Pudding (1 cone)
15 gm plain flour
50 gm brown sugar
25 gm suet (I substituted with butter)
15 gm breadcrumbs
1/8 tsp each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice
100 gm mixed fruit and peel
25 gm raisins
10 gm nuts (almonds or hazelnuts etc)
1/4 apple
zest of 1/2 orange + the juice
1/4 tbsp rum
1 tsp treacle
1/2 egg

1. Mix everything in a bowl, adding some milk or water to make dropping consistency. Cover with wrap and leave in fridge overnight.
2. Grease the Nick Munro mould and spoon the pudding batter in, packing firmly.
3. Cover the top with a piece of foil and secure with a piece of thread to prevent spill.
4. Steam 1 hour at medium heat.
5. Re-heat to serve. Pour whisky or brandy into a large ladle until 1/4 full and heat the ladle over a fire. The brandy will catch fire quickly so get everything ready and everybody seated. Pour the lighted brandy over the pudding.

Serve with a brandy butter: Whisk equal amounts (20 gm each) of brandy, sugar and butter.

For the Christmas trees, use store-bought fondant or make your own to cover the tree. I used a pair of scissors with sharp tips to snip the leaves of the green spruce. To attach ornaments to the tree, use a bit of the fondant paste mixed with water.