In another country, another lifetime, I sold Christmas Puddings. The real deal. Wrapped in calico with pretty tartan Christmas ribbon. I made and sold hundreds of them. It all started when I was working in a restaurant in Spain. We decided to do little individual Christmas puddings to serve as dessert and I knew my recipe would be perfect for this. Then people started asking to buy whole ones from me. There was such a big Irish and English community there that they were hugely popular. When I moved back to Ireland, I continued to do this, but introduced a range of marinated oils, chutneys, onion jam, mincemeat (the fruit kind) for Christmas pies and held parties at friends' houses like Tupperware parties, and attended markets. It was huge!
I worked full time and then came home to cook up a storm. I had puddings at all the different stages on the go. There was the mix all ready to go, sitting in a bowl to marinade for 24 hours. Then there were the puddings steaming in the oven, I had puddings drying under the stairs, suspended from coat hangers - three to a coat hanger, three coat hangers to each stair. Then more in boxes, waiting to have a second layer of calico wrapped around it for final presentation.
The house had this beautiful waft of Christmas emanating from each part of it.
When I finally accepted gluten was a thing of the past for me, I tried recreating the Christmas pudding but it just wasn't the same. It was tough and dry, and it just made me sad. I'd rather go without than eat something that didn't make me happy.
Until last year when I created these little beauties. Not only do they look pretty, and perfect for your Christmas dinner table, they smell of Christmas and they taste - I can't even begin to tell you how much they remind me of those Christmas puddings! There is so much love and memories tied up into these little Christmas puddings!
Fast forward to this year. I suggested to Courtney at Raw Galore these Christmas puddings would be perfect as a Christmas themed special. As of today, they are available in store! But for those of you who are not close by but still want to have these on their Christmas table or to give away as gifts, you can!
You can get the sour cherries, mulberries and lemon myrtle from your local bulk store. I prefer Natif Lemon Myrtle and always have some in the house. But if you don't normally use it, then just grab a little tiny bit from your bulk store. You could also use Matcha but the lemon myrtle has a lovely citrus hit that works perfectly with the balls, whereas the matcha is a much stronger flavour. You could replace the sour cherries with cranberries but try to get these ingredients if you can, it will be worth it!
Christmas Pudding Bliss Balls
Makes 18 x 36g balls
- 2 cups almonds
- 1 cup dates (soak them if they are dry)
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1/3 cup sour cherries
- 1/3 cup mulberries
- Zest of 1/2 an orange
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 3 tbsp coconut milk (thick part of a chilled can)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Goji berries
- Lemon myrtle
Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend until the mix sticks. You want to have pieces of almonds and dry fruit left in the mix to give texture.
Roll into balls, gently press the base slightly to give a sturdy foundation so it doesn't roll around and place on a lined baking tray and put into the freezer while you make the icing.
Add all ingredients to your high powered blender and process until smooth
Remove the balls from the freezer and spoon over a large teaspoon of the icing onto each ball, allowing it to drip down the sides a little. Because the balls are frozen, the icing will set quickly so I suggest you do just 5 at a time. Once the icing is on, sprinkle a little lemon myrtle on the icing and top with two goji berries. Be careful with the lemon myrtle, you only want a pinch of it on each ball or it will be too overpowering.
Pop back in the freezer to set the icing. I prefer to leave these in the freezer as the cashews in the icing can discolour if left in the fridge. They will last for weeks in the fridge, but look more fresh if stored in the freezer. You can make these weeks ahead....if you have the discipline not to eat them all!
Enjoy, and have a beautiful Christmas🎄❤️