Ella Mills, pioneer of the award-winning blog Deliciously Ella, shows how to make a lighter version of a festive favourite, complete with vanilla cashew custard
Festive pud by Deliciously Ella
Ingredients (Serves 8)
FOR THE CHRISTMAS PUDDING 50g halved dried cranberries (¼ cup) 50g quartered dried apricots (¼ cup) 50g raisins (¼ cup)
50g sultanas (¼ cup)
75g pitted chopped medjool dates (½ cup)
1 apple cored and chopped into 1cm cubes (100g)
1 ½ tbsp milled flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp of water
50g buckwheat flour (⅓ cup) 150g almond flour (1 cup)
100g chopped mixed nuts (1 cup) The zest and juice of a small orange (200g)
3 tbsp date syrup
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground or grated nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla powder
FOR THE VANILLA CASHEW CUSTARD
50g raw cashews (1 cup) 125-190ml water (½-¾ cup) 2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
Start by soaking the cashews in a bowl of water for two-three hours, making sure they’re completely covered. In a separate bowl, soak the flaxseed with the water for about 10 minutes so it starts to thicken.
Then make the pudding by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Line a separate 1 litre glass pudding bowl with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the lined bowl, place the baking paper over the top and then tie a piece of string around it so that the paper stays on top of the bowl like a hat.
Put the bowl inside a wide pan and fill the pan with boiling water half way up the bowl. Cover with a lid, bring to a medium heat and simmer the pudding for two hours. Make sure that the water doesn’t evaporate as it might burn the pudding and crack your bowl, so check on it every half hour.
Whilst the pudding is cooking, make the vanilla cashew custard. Blend the cashews in a blender with the vanilla, maple syrup and half of the water. Add the rest gradually to get the desired thickness and taste. Blend for around five minutes or until completely smooth.
Then pour the custard into a pan and gently heat until it is warmed and slightly runny.
Once the pudding has finished cooking, place an upside down serving plate on top of the bowl and flip to remove the pudding. Leave it to stand for about 10 minutes before drizzling on the delicious vanilla cashew custard. The pudding can be kept in the fridge for up to five days, and can be enjoyed warm or cold. Ella’s new book, Deliciously Ella: The Plant-Based Cookbook, is out now and you can find more of her recipes at deliciouslyella.com