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House of Commons Pudding

ingredients

serves 4
2 oz (50 g) seedless raisins
2 tbsp (30 ml) medium sherry
butter for greasing
4 trifle sponges
9 Ratafias or 2 almond macaroons
400 ml (14 fl oz) milk
3 eggs
2 tbsp (25 g) 1 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
few drops of vanilla essence

for the decoration

glace cherries, halved angelica, cut in strips

accompaniments (you may need these)

method

1. Put the raisins in a small bowl with the sherry and macerate for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile grease a 13 cm (5 inch) round cake tin and line the base with greased greaseproof paper.

3. Decorate the base of the tin with the cherries and angelica.

4. Cut the sponges into 1 cm (1/2 inch) dice and put into a bowl.

5. Add the crumbled ratafias or macaroons and mix lightly.

6. Drain the raisins, discarding the sherry.

7. Add a layer of the sponge mixture to the prepared tin, taking care not to spoil the design.

8. Top with a few of the drained raisins.

9. Repeat the layers until all the sponge mixture and raisins have been used.

10. In a saucepan, bring the milk to just below boiling point.

11. Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl, mix well, then stir in the scalded milk.

12. Add a few drops of vanilla essence.

13. Slowly strain the custard mixture into the cake tin, allowing it to seep down to the base of the tin gradually, so as not to disturb the pattern on the base.

14. Leave to stand for 1 hour.

15. Prepare a steamer or half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil.

16. Cover the cake tin with greased greaseproof paper or foil and secure with string.

17. Put the pudding in the perforated part of the steamer, or stand it on an old saucer or plate in the saucepan of boiling water. The water should come halfway up the sides of the cake tin. Cover the pan tightly and steam the pudding over gently simmering water for 1 hour.

18. Remove the pudding from the steamer, leave to stand for a few minutes, then turn out on to a warmed dish and peel off the lining paper.

19. Serve with Sabayon Sauce, if liked.

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