Do you know Nigella Lawson’s marmalade pudding cake? A little bit soggy or slightly underbaked texture, really moist, chewy and sweet. If you’re from UK I’m sure you know pudding cake texture. If you’ve never tried, I encourage you to try to prepare it – it’s pretty easy and very quick. This mincemeat pudding cake is based on the Nigella’s recipe idea. To be honest, it was supposed to be sticky toffee pudding, although dates were not available in the store, which are the key ingredient of this cake. But instead, my attention was drawn to a jar of mincemeat standing on a shelf with products for baking. If you don’t know what mincemeat is, it is not minced meat at all, but a mixture of dried fruit, raisins, apple, spices and some alcohol like brandy or whiskey. It’s very popular in UK during Christmas period. English recipes from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries describe a fermented mixture of meat and fruit used as a pie filling. Originally, mincemeat always contained meat. The use of spices like clove, nutmeg, mace and cinnamon was common in late medieval and renaissance meat dishes. The increase of sweetness from added sugar made mincemeat less a savoury dinner course and helped to direct its use toward desserts. That’s how instead of sticky toffee pudding I invented mincemeat pudding 😉
In the end, from a few recipes found on the internet, I put together one and here’s what came out. Sweet, quite moist, but quite well-risen pudding cake with a festive character and aroma of burnt sugar. Very Christmasy and smelled amazing!
If you don’t have a jar of mincemeat on hand, you can make your own version of it with raisins, currants, soaked in hot water, then drained and slightly blended. Then mixed with brown sugar, nutmeg, grated apple and some alcohol, like whiskey or brandy. You can also add some more Christmas spices like ginger, cinnamon, orange zest etc. You can use it also as a pie or tart filling.
You can serve mincemeat pudding in two versions: very simple warm (or cold) drizzled with some cream or little bit more fancy – warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream, for an adult version – drizzled with a little bit of Christmas flavour liqueur.
mincemeat pudding cake
NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass
INGREDIENTS (for a dish size about 27×27 cm / 10×10 inch):
• 150 g butter
• 6-8 tbsp brown sugar
• about 400 g mincemeat (you can replace it with raisins, currants, soaked in hot water, then drained and slightly blended, then mixed with brown sugar, nutmeg, grated apple and some alcohol, like whiskey or brandy)
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup of plain flour
• pinch of salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• for sauce: 250 ml double cream + 3 tsp brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Beat the butter and sugar until smooth, then add the eggs and beat again. Add all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until combine. Finally, add mincemeat (or mix of dates).
Put the batter into a baking dish, place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. In the meantime, mix cream with brown sugar and pour it over the top of the cake, piercing it in many places with a fork. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, making sure not to burn.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, although when eaten cold with a spoon straight from the dish it tastes equally good 🙂