Mini fruit Christmas puddings with fudge and pecan sauce
- 100g (3½ oz) dried cherries, cranberries or other dried fruit½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 90g (3oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots
- 90g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 150g (5oz) light muscovado sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
- 2tbsp orange juice
For the sauce:
- 175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar
- 125g (4oz) unsalted butter
- 6tbsp double cream
- 30g (1oz) pecan nuts, chopped
- Juice of ½ orange
Soaking the dried cherries in the bicarbonate of soda first will plump up and soften them, bringing out the flavour and keeping the cake moist.
- Put the dried cherries in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and pour 150ml (¼ pint) boiling water over them. Stir and leave to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Snip the apricots into small pieces with scissors. Whisk the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and light, then beat in the eggs with a little of the flour. Fold in the rest of the flour, then the cherries and water, apricots and orange juice.
- Divide the mixture between 10 x 125ml (4fl oz) dariole moulds or ramekins, well-greased with butter and dusted with flour. Place on a traybake tin and bake at 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) for 25 mins until firm and well risen. Leave to cool in the moulds for 15 mins and they should come out more easily.
- To make the sauce, put the sugar, butter, cream and pecans in a pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the orange juice to taste.
- To serve, put the puddings on individual plates and serve topped with a little sauce.