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Cabinet Pudding Recipe

A pudding coming in many guises and occasionally under different names - but originating in France where it's called 'Poudin a la chanceliere'. It generally comprises crystallised fruits placed in the bottom of a mould and filled with layers of sponge fingers (or macaroons) soaked in liqueur and bavarois with glace cherries, or currants and sultanas. But can be served hot or cold - the latter, sometimes having a layer of ice cream. Here is our version of it.

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Key Features

  • Suitable for Vegetarians


For a generous 4:

2oz/60gr Glacé Cherries, halved

10 small pieces of Angelica, cut into diamond shapes

3 Trifle Sponges

1oz/30gr crusted Amaretti Biscuits

2oz/60gr Crystallised Mixed Peel

15 fl oz/¾ pint/400ml Milk

2 medium Eggs

1oz/30gr Caster Sugar

½ teaspoon/2ml Vanilla Essence (not Vanilla flavouring)

2 teaspoons/60ml Orange Flower Water

A little Butter for greasing

For the Sauce:

2 medium Egg Yolks

2oz/60mg Caster Sugar

½ teaspoon/2mg Cornflour or Arrowroot

2 fl oz/50ml dry Sherry or Grand Marnier

Equipment needed: a 1½ pint/900ml pudding basin, Bakewell/silicon paper to line the basin + a round piece larger than the top of the bowl; enough string to comfortably go around the top of the bowl. A heat-proof casserole with a lid, deep enough to contain the pudding basin, when the lid is fitted. A double saucepan or bain marie for making the sauce.


- Lightly-butter the pudding basin, then line it with the silicon paper.

- Arrange half the glace cherry halves (round-side-down) and the angelica diamonds neatly on the base.

- Cut the sponges into small pieces and mix them in with the crumbled amaretti biscuits.

- Mix this mixture with the remaining glace cherries and the candied mixed peel.

- Put this mixture into the pudding basin.

- Heat the milk until hot, but not boiling. Set aside.

- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and caster sugar together, then add a little of the hot milk - while continuing to whisk.

- Add the vanilla essence , followed by the remainder of the milk - while continuing to whisk.

- Continue until the custard thickens a little - then pour it over the fruit mixture. Set it aside for 10 minutes.

- Cover the basin with the extra silicon paper, and tie this on with string.

- Place the basin in the heatproof casserole, and pour in enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides.

- Cover, then place on a low heat and steam for an hour, topping up with more boiling water if necessary.

- Remove from the heat and cool before placing the pudding basin in the fridge.

- About 20 minutes before you wish to serve the pudding, make the sauce.

- To do this, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, in the top of a double saucepan,. until the mixture is thick and pale..

- Dissolve the cornflour in the Sherry or Grand Marnier, then add this to the egg mixture, whisking as you do so.

- Bring some water in the lower half of the double saucepan to the boil, then turn the heat to low.

- Put the sauce over the top, and whisk constantly for 6-8 minutes or until the sauce is thick and creamy.

To serve, turn out the pudding, with help of a palette knife, and pour a little of the sauce over. Serve the remainder of the sauce in a jug.

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