• 1½ cups frozen pitted cherries, defrosted
• 1 firm ripe pear or apple
• ¾ cup raisins and/or sultanas
• ¼ cup wolfberries (goji berries) (or more raisins)
• ½ cup apple juice
• 100gm (70%) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 100gm butter, plus 2 tbsp for greasing pudding steamer
• 1 drop nutmeg oil (to taste)
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• ½ cup flour or gluten-free flour
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tbsp cacao powder
• 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
• ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
• whipped cream (optional, for serving)
• a few fresh cherries with stems on (optional, for serving)
• mint leaves (optional, for serving)
• 150gm dark (70%) chocolate bars
• ¾ cup coconut milk or cream
• 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (to taste)
• 1 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
• 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
• pinch of sea salt (to taste)
• swirl of nutmeg oil (to taste)
1. Drain all the cherries over a bowl and reserve the liquid. Reserve ½ cup of cherries, for serving and then cut the remaining cherries in half. Peel the pear and coarsely grate.
2. In a medium saucepan combine the cherries, pear, raisins, apple juice and 2 tbsp of reserved cherry liquid and stir well. Heat to medium and cook for 2 – 3 minutes then remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes to soften and plump the fruit.
3. Then stir the chocolate, 100gm butter and nutmeg oil into hot fruit until melted and allow to cool uncovered for approx. 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, rub 1 tbsp butter around the inside of a 1-litre pudding steamer and set aside. Then lay two sheets of baking paper over each other and butter the one on top. Then while holding both sheets together fold a 3cm pleat across the middle of the baking paper and set aside.
5. Place the beaten eggs in a large bowl and sift in the flour, mixed spice and cocoa powder mix well. Then pour in the chocolate, fruit, breadcrumbs and sugar and mix well. The batter will be quite a wet mixture. Spoon into prepared steamer and smooth over top.
6. Cover pudding with the buttered baking paper (buttery-side down), scrunching it over the edge of steamer and tie with string firmly to secure.
7. Trim baking paper so that there is an overhang of approx. 5cm left sticking out, then tuck the overhanging baking paper up and under itself neatly. The goal is to keep the pudding watertight beneath the baking paper.
8. Put steamer on a heatproof saucer in a large stockpot and add enough boiling water to the pot to come halfway up the side of the steamer. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and boil gently for approx, 2 ½ hours or until pudding is cooked. Check the pot a few times as you may need to add a little more water as the pudding steams. Test by inserting a skewer through the baking paper. If there is any wet mixture, continue steaming for 15 minutes longer and check again and continue steaming until pudding is set.
9. Cool and chill the pudding until you are ready to serve or serve immediately. To reheat before serving place the pudding steamer in the stockpot, add boiling water halfway up the pot and steam for 30 minutes. For serving turn the pudding out onto a platter, top with the extra cherries and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve with whipped cream mixed with a swirl of nutmeg oil, if desire. Top with a few fresh cherries and mint leaves for a lovely presentation.
Chocolate Sauce Instructions
Toothpick Method: Dip a clean toothpick in your oil bottle and swirl it around a little to coat with oil then swirl the toothpick into the chocolate sauce and stir to incorporate the oil, taste and repeat if desired with a clean toothpick.
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. When melted, completely remove from heat, but leave the pan with the melted chocolate in the warm water.
2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine. Check to see if it is sweet enough and add more sweetener, if desired and stir well. The mixture should be like thick hot chocolate. Any leftover sauce can be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to a week and gently reheat in a double boiler before serving.