Monday 20 November 2017

Vegan plum pudding

James de Burca

vEGAN Plum Pudding served with Vanilla and Almond Custard and Lemon and whiskey sauceThis seasonal vegan pudding has been a favourite of mine for some years and contains all the essential ingredients a traditional plum pudding needs, but it just happens to be both dairy and egg free.

It is designed to satisfy the taste buds and the lack of dairy products will not be noticed, but has the potential to make a friend or family member very happy.

Cooking for special dietary needs can be intimidating, but with a little practice and knowledge it can become very easy and stress free.

The key is to either replace the ingredients that cause the dietary need, or change the menu to suit such need. For example, if a person has a nut allergy this recipe could be followed but the nuts can be replaced with various seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin.

To make this recipe celiac friendly and therefore gluten free, it will require four simple changes. Replace the stout with cider, the whiskey with rum, the plain flour with rice flour and the breadcrumbs with rice crumbs, which may be purchased in a health food shops or supermarkets with a free from section.

Either way it is the flavour that matters most and I'm sure this will not disappoint.

YOU WILL NEED

100g plain flour

180g breadcrumbs

100g lightly toasted and roughly chopped nuts (60g hazelnuts, 40g Brazil nuts)

30g ground linseeds

150g unrefined brown sugar

250g raisins, roughly chopped

100g grated apple (about 1 unpeeled eating apple)

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

2 tsps cinnamon

1½ tsps nutmeg

1 tsp mace

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp sea salt

250ml stout

50ml whiskey

100g tofu

100g chilled dairy free sunflower or olive butter

50g chilled coconut oil

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C. Weigh the flour, breadcrumbs and chopped nuts into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a separate smaller bowl add the ground linseeds, sugar, raisins, apple, citrus zest and spices.

Pour the stout and whiskey over this then set aside to infuse.

Crumble the tofu by squeezing it through your fingers into the flour, breadcrumbs and nuts.

Add the butter and oil, rubbing it into the mixture until roughly combined.

Pour the fruit, spice and stout mixture into the large bowl and stir until well combined.

Place the mixture into a 1.2 litre bowl then cut a little baking parchment to fit over it and seal it tightly by tying it up with some cotton string.

Place the sealed bowl on to a baking dish and then pour some boiling water into the dish and cover the dish with tin foil so the steam does not escape.

Carefully place the pudding into the pre-heated oven to steam for 3.5 to 4 hours, checking each hour or so to ensure that the water has not evaporated.

Remove the pudding from the oven and set aside to cool.

Once it has cooled to room temperature, replace the parchment paper with new paper and re-seal.

Remove the cloves and zest and store in a cool and dry place until Christmas Day.

Serve with the vanilla and almond custard and whiskey lemon sauce.

Irish Independent

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