How long have you been singing this Christmas Carol? Have you ever had Figgy Pudding aka Christmas Pudding? And what, exactly is it?
Continuing the Retro holiday theme, today I address Figgy Pudding. One other question, can you add chocolate? Yes! Scroll down for Ghirardelli's recipe for Chocolate Figgy Pudding.
Figgy Pudding is pretty much exactly what it sounds like -- a pudding/cake with figs in it. The reason that it's in such high demand, though, has more to do with its inedible ingredients. Coins, rings and other trinkets were often hidden in the Christmas pudding and each supposedly predicted the recipient's fortune for the coming year. For example, if you found a coin, you would become wealthy. If you found a ring, you'd get married ... and so on. Think of it as an Old English fortune cookie.
It's amazing what a brief mention in one Victorian-era Christmas carol can do for an obscure little dessert called figgy pudding. Every year, thousands of people around the world become curious about the dessert mentioned in the secular English carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Apparently, the party-goers mentioned in the lyrics refuse to leave until they get some of this pudding from their host. This must be some seriously good pudding.
In actuality, figgy pudding is more of a cake than a pudding. There have been recipes for it since the 15th century, although its popularity as a Christmas dessert probably reached its peak during the late 19th century. Several factors have significantly hampered the wholesale expansion of the figgy pudding industry, including an interminably long cooking time, an exotic ingredients list and a cringe-inducing dependency on saturated fats for texture.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Figgy Pudding
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
4 cups soft bread crumbs
1 cup finely chopped suet
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups chopped dried figs
3/4 cup Ghirardelli's Ground Chocolate
1/2 cup hot milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
Beat eggs, add sugar, bread crumbs, suet, figs (dredged with flour), chocolate mixed with hot milk, and salt, stir thoroughly.
Steam three hours in a greased mold.
Serve hot with a hard sauce.
Hard sauce: Great recipe at The Pioneer Woman