Thursday, 28 November 2013


Last year I put this recipe on my blog and have been asked to pit it on again so here it is

Karderio Christmas Pudding Clip Art

Having looked at most luxury style Christmas puddings as well as recipes for homemade ones using traditional ingredients like suet in them I found that most provided around 600kacls and 80g carbohydrate per portion. So I was given the challenge of developing a lower calorie and carbohydrate pudding.
This is what I made and it makes 8 small portions and each portion provides 204kcal 43g carbohydrate, 1.4 g fat, 0.3g saturated fat and 0.3g salt.
It was quick to make and also cheap. It will not keep so make it only the day before or freeze.


200g dried mixed fruit

100ml water

10 ml red wine

1 tbsp oat bran

I tbsp black treacle

200g self raising flour

1 tsp mixed spices

1 420g can of prunes drained

1 egg

Mix the wine and water together (I just washed out a wine bottle)

Pour the dried fruit into a dish

Pour on the wine and water mixture

Leave overnight in the fridge.

This soaking step is important as it plumps up the fruit.

To this mix add the oat bran and return the dish to the fridge

Take the stones out of the prunes and puree—if you have not got a liquidiser a potato masher works well

Add to the mix, then add the treacle and mix through.

Sift together the flour and spices and add to the mix

Finally beat in the egg

If the mix seems a bit dry add a little skimmed milk

Pour into a one and a half pint basin and smooth down

Alternatively pour into 8 small basins

Put in the microwave and cook for 7 minutes on high

Take out of the microwave and let stand for 5 minutes

Cook again for 7 minutes on high and again let stand

Test the inside is cooked with a knife or skewer –if not cooked –then cook again for 5 minutes and allow to stand then check it

The smaller puddings will cook more quickly and so will a pudding in a shallower basin

The pudding will not keep for long so freeze it or cook a day or so before required.

If you do not want to cook in a microwave it can be baked for an hour in a medium oven in a covered basin stood in a bowl of water.

Serve with custard or ice cream or as it is very low in fat a little brandy butter


You can use all wine, port or brandy to soak the fruit if you wish but this will boost the calories.

If you do not want to use alcohol soak the fruit in apple juice

Extra fruit can be added to the mixed dried fruit –dried cranberries are nice

If you want to have a cold pudding the soaked mixed dried fruit with added cranberries soaked in alcohol or fruit juice goes well with vanilla ice cream. You can even layer this up in a pudding basin and freeze it.

If you want to use puree apples instead of the prunes it will give a paler colour

You can use gluten free flour and soy bran instead of the ordinary flour and oat bran


If you do not want to cook a pudding them many of the supermarkets economy puddings seemed to be lower in calories than the luxury ones.

Thursday, 7 November 2013


It is the time of year to make soup--so easy to make plus not expensive.

Tonight I made lentil, parsnip and carrot soup for my husbands lunch and it turned out beautifully.

I just put in a big pan  of water some split lentils, a bag of chopped up parsnips I bought from the local supermarket at 10p for a big bag, a few onions a few potatoes from the garden plus a splash of tomato sauce. I always start with boiling water from the kettle the add the vegetables. Then I simmer for an hour. It needs tasting to see if it needs something else adding like a stock cube or yeast extract or some herbs.

Usually I puree it a bit with a stick blender but often not--depends on how I feel.

There will be plenty for another day and it could also be frozen.

I have been really pleased to help Karen with her book and although she does mention "Cake" in the title  she has some fabulous recipes for soup. The recipes include one for bone broth which is really filling and a real traditional recipe.

The book does have some delicious recipes for cakes and sweet items!