Alternatives to Christmas pudding are such a needed item in your festive recipe repertoire. It is a massive tradition in the UK but Christmas pudding has the ability to divide the table. People love it or hate it. Or they might like it but it’s too heavy to even contemplate after such a rich meal of a starter and full turkey dinner with all the trimmings. If you need alternatives to Christmas pudding here they are – compete with video tutorials for ease.
1. Pavlova Wreath with Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Creme and Berries
Pavlova is one of the lighter alternatives to Christmas pudding – even if the meringue is smothered in chocolate sauce and cream. Let the Aussies and the Kiwis argue over who invented the pavlova while you tuck into this crispy, chewy, creamy, berry bursting deliciousness.
Gino D’Acampo is a very entertaining Italian chef who’s popular on UK TV. His accent is so cute and his mispronunciations always give rise to a smile – including his own. If you want to bring an Italian touch to your Christmas table, follow along as he makes his scrummy tiramisu. I watched him today make a tiramisu cake which looked fabulous but sadly, there’s no video for it yet.
3. Flaming Bombe Baked Alaska
Baked Alaska is already a pretty impressive dessert – an ice cream middle that doesn’t melt! Who wouldn’t love that? Well Ann Reardon pimps even this up by turning it into a flambé.
4. Italian Christmas Pudding Cake
This video comes in two parts – not because the recipe is difficult – just a tad long, but the effort looks really worth it. Nigella’s fabulous recipe is based on panettone - the traditional Italian Christmas cake – but is packed with oozy, boozy cream and loads of scrummy things. It looks very rich so perhaps it isn’t one of the lightest alternatives to Christmas pudding out there, but boy I want to try it.
5. Poached Pears in Mulled Wine
This is a good choice for a light dessert and you still get a real hit of Christmas thanks to the mulled wine. The addition of almonds and figs take this from the ordinary to the special.
6. Ruby-red Plum and Amaretti Crumble
You might think that crumble is too humble for a Christmas dessert – but not when Nigella, domestic goddess extraordinaire gets her hands on it. Succulent, juicy plums are perfect with Amaretti biscuits as a crispy crumbly topping.
7. Cranberry Cheesecake
If you can’t get enough cranberries at Christmastime then a cheesecake smothered in them is exactly what you need. Creamy and tart, it the perfect end to a rich, indulgent Christmas dinner.
8. Irish Crème Chocolate Roulade
Mary Berry is the Grande Dame of British baking and there’s no way she’d steer us wrong at Christmas. If chocolate is your choice for dessert, try this delicious roulade that’s laced with plenty of Irish Crème (Baileys).
One of the most impressive alternatives to Christmas pudding has to be the croquembouche – essentially a tower of profiteroles. To give you an idea of how intimidating this dessert is, it generally appears in one of the later rounds of the Masterchef contests! If you can make choux pastry, the issue is the construction job. If you can pull this off, it will be a Christmas dinner remembered for years to come.
Your mouth should be watering by now! I happen to love Christmas pudding but I’d happily try any of these alternatives. Which would you prefer?