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Rania’s Recipes: Christmas Pudding & Chocolate Peppermint Tart

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(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

Christmas is next week and if you’re looking for even more dessert dishes to try, check out these two recipes from Rania Harris!

Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butter

Brandy Butter:

  • ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons brandy

Pudding:

  • 1-2/3 cups dried currants
  • ¾ cup candied cherries or other chopped dried fruit such as apricots or figs
  • ¾ cup pitted prunes, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped candied orange peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 3 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup finely chopped almonds
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

Directions

For Brandy Butter: Using electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar. Gradually beat in brandy.

For Pudding: Mix currants, candied cherries, prunes, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Pour rum over and stir to blend. Let stand 30 minutes.

Mix breadcrumbs, brown sugar and flour in medium bowl. Add to dried fruit mixture and stir to blend. Cover dried fruit mixture and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Generously butter 2-quart pudding mold with lid. Mix almonds and baking powder in medium bowl. Whisk melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and almond extract in large bowl. Stir in almond mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pudding mold. Smooth top. Cover pudding mold with lid.

Place pudding mold on rack in large pot. Add enough boiling water to pot to come halfway up sides of mold. Cover pot and steam pudding over medium-low heat until tester inserted into center comes out clean, adding more boiling water to pot if necessary, about 2 hours. Transfer mold to rack and cool 5 minutes. Turn out pudding.

Transfer pudding to platter. Serve pudding warm with brandy butter.

Serves 10

Chocolate Peppermint Tart

Crust:

  • 1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about half of one 9-ounce package cookies, finely ground in processor)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed red and white striped hard peppermint candy

For Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend first 3 ingredients in processor. Add melted butter; process until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom, to within 1/8 inch of top. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack.

For Filling: Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted. Add butter, 1 piece at a time; whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Pour filling into crust. Chill until filling begins to set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Chill until set, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil and keep chilled.)

Just before serving, pipe whipped cream around the edges of the tart with pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Carefully top the crushed peppermint candy in the center of the tart and serve immediately.

8 to 10 servings

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