Sticky figgy pudding with brandied Alaria

This Wonderful pudding retains the richness of an old fashioned winter treat – the brandied Alaria and brandied topping make it a dessert fit to grace the most discerning of Christmas Tables. Do go to the bother of making the topping as it makes it extra special.

Seaweed Used: Alaria

Serves 4 -6

Brandied Alaria:

25g (10z) dried Alaria,
25ml (1fl oz) brandy
25ml (1fl oz) water

To prepare the brandied Alaria: (Left Overnight)

Using scissors, snip the dried Alaria into 5mm (1/4 inch) pieces and place in a bowl. Add the brandy and water and soak overnight.


225g (80z) dried figs, sliced finely
115g (40z) walnuts, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 eating apple, grated
115g (40z) butter
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoons runny honey
85g (30z) molasses sugar or dark sugar
175g (60z) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bread soda
2 eggs

To prepare the pudding

1. Grease a 1.5 litre (2 1/2 pint) pudding basin. If steaming in an oven, preheat to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4.

2. Combine the brandied alaria, figs, walnuts, carrot and apple in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

3. Melt the butter with the molasses, honey and sugar in a small saucepan and set aside to cool. Meanwhile mix the flour with the baking powder and bread soda.

4. Tip the slightly cooled butter and sugar mixture into the mixing bowl with the fruit and walnuts. Mix to combine, and beat the eggs in one at a time.

5. Add the flour, a little at a time until very well combined, then tip into the prepared pudding basin. Secure the lid snugly using a layer of grease-proof paper if necessary.

6. To steam: Place the pudding basin on an upturned ovenproof saucer in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the basin. Simmer for 2 hours, either in the oven or on the stove. Top up with water as necessary.

7. Serve the pudding by turning out onto a flat plate.

Praline Sauce

115g (4oz) molasses sugar
55g (2oz) walnuts
115g (4oz) butter
a generous dash of cream

To prepare the praline sauce

1. Melt the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat.

2. Add the walnuts and swirl around in the sugar until coated, taking care not to burn the mixture.

3. Lift out the coated walnuts with a slotted spoon and place onto grease-proof paper. Allow to harden into praline.

4. When the mixture has cooled, fold the grease-proof paper over the praline and break it up with a wooden rolling pin.

5. Melt the butter with the sugar still remaining in the saucepan, add the cream and simmer until it forms a toffee sauce.

6. Spoon the sauce over the pudding and add the crushed walnut praline. Best served piping hot.