The most Irish Christmas dessert has to be Guinness Christmas pudding with Guinness whipped cream. 

For many Irish families, Christmas pudding is the icing on the cake of Christmas night. Everyone sitting around the table, content after a delicious Christmas dinner, heads adorned with paper crowns from Christmas crackers, oohs and aahs as the Christmas pudding makes its dramatic entrance - lit aflame with a brandy drizzle. 

Also known as plum pudding (rather confusingly, since it does not typically contain plums), Christmas pudding is a traditional Irish recipe that varies from family to family. 

Some recipes are closely-guarded secrets, but we'll let you in on the trick to ours: the most delicious Christmas pudding recipe calls for a healthy amount of Guinness Draught.

Guinness Draught

Guinness Draught

The addition of the classic Irish stout turns fruitcake's reputation for being dry and hard on its head and produces a Christmas dessert that is rich, moist, and distinctly Irish. 

Guinness Christmas Pudding 

Ingredients 

  • 12oz currants
  • 4oz sultanas
  • 4oz raisins
  • 4oz mixed candied peel
  • 4oz glace cherries
  • 8oz peeled and cored apples
  • 1 lemon & 1 orange (separate the grated rind and the juice)
  • 12oz plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 8oz soft brown sugar
  • 8oz castor sugar
  • 12oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 7oz Guinness
  • 12oz shredded suet (Vegetarian if needed)
  • 2oz chopped almonds
  • 2oz chopped walnuts
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • A handful of blanched almonds (optional)

Method

Put the chopped nuts, candied peel, cherries, apples, lemon and orange rind into a large bowl. Add the flour, spices, salt, breadcrumbs, suet, and sugars and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the lemon, orange juice, Guinness, and eggs and then pour into the dry mixture and combine. Cover the mixture with a towel and leave overnight so the fruit can soak up the liquid. 

The following day, grease 3 pudding bowls of varying sizes. Place circular greased pieces of aluminum foil around the bottom of the bowls. Spoon the mixture into the prepared bowls - making sure that the top is level and that there is room in the bowl for the pudding to rise and expand as it cooks. 

Cover each bowl with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper and a layer of aluminum foil.

Put each of the bowls in a large saucepan. Fill the saucepan halfway up with boiling water and maintain this level by adding more boiling water during the cooking. (Chef’s secret: a small saucer placed in the bottom of the saucepan prevents the pudding bowl from moving around too much.)

Cooking times: Allow 9 hours boiling time for a 2-pint pudding, 7 hours for a 1 and a half-pint pudding, or 5 hours for a 1-pint pudding.

On the day you want to serve the Guinness Christmas pudding, heat it by simmering the bowl in a saucepan of water for one hour (or heat it up in the microwave), tip it over on to a serving plate, stud it with the almonds, drizzle it with the brandy, and set it alight.

Once the brandy has burnt off, serve the pudding with Guinness whipped cream - recipe below. 

Guinness Whipped Cream 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons Guinness Draught
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • Dash of vanilla extract to taste 

Method

Pour ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine with an electric mixer until it begins to form soft peaks. 

Nollaig Shona and enjoy responsibly!