Chef Recipes

Pudding, the English "Rival" to Panettone: Gordon Ramsay's Delicious Recipe

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina pudding gordon ramsay

The typical British Christmas dessert took the spotlight after The Times' attack on Panettone, now a global star. But what exactly is Christmas Pudding, and how do you make it? Here's the recipe by Sir Gordon Ramsay, taken from the 2015 book "Christmas with Gordon."

The dessert 

Christmas Pudding? It's exquisite. Our best pastry chefs, from Iginio Massari to Ernst Knam, to Andrea Tortora, remained unfazed by The Times attack on our symbolic sweet, increasingly dominant worldwide. As the saying goes, "those who scorn it, buy it." And panettone is being sold more and more everywhere.

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It's true that the British dessert is ancient: it would derive from a kind of 14th-century porridge called "frumenty," made of broken wheat boiled in milk and spiced with cinnamon and saffron, sometimes with the addition of meat, raisins, prunes, and wine. The addition of eggs dates back to the 17th century when it became customary to enrich it with breadcrumbs, dried fruit, beer, or spirits, eventually resembling a sweet pudding.

pudding gordon ramsay
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@Matt Frost

Something similar to the current recipe, however, only appeared in the Victorian era. While Gordon Ramsay's version is somewhat simplified (historically, it was cooked in a cloth, and every family member was called to turn the mixture, with the luckiest finding a coin at the table), it adheres to the rule of thirteen ingredients (symbolizing Jesus and the twelve Apostles) and, most importantly, the ritual of flambéing with alcohol, representing passion. The pairing is a fortified wine, Port, or Madeira.


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  • 210g softened butter (plus a knob for greasing)
  • 1 orange (finely grated zest)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (plus a splash to drizzle)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 210g light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 100g self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 150ml double cream
  • A splash of whiskey to taste (plus a little for flambéing)
  • A splash of Irish Cream (like Baileys)


Butter a 1.5-liter pudding basin, sprinkle the grated orange zest on the bottom, and pour maple syrup over it. Place bay leaves in the center and press.

Using an electric blender, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to minimum and incorporate beaten eggs gradually, ensuring each addition is well incorporated. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt, and spice, gently mixing with a metal spoon.

Transfer the mixture into the basin. Cover with a buttered parchment paper disc facing down, then with an aluminum foil of the same size. Tie tightly under the rim with string.

Place inside a pot, over a rack or inverted ramekin. Pour boiling water halfway up the basin and let it simmer. Cover with a properly sized lid and simmer gently for an hour and a half, checking the water level every half hour to replenish if necessary.

Meanwhile, prepare the whiskey cream: whip the cream well with a splash of each liquor in a wide bowl. Transfer it to the serving container.

Check the cooking by opening the wrapping and inserting a skewer, which should come out clean. Loosen the edges and invert onto the serving plate.

Heat a bit of whiskey in a small pan and ignite it with a match at the table, then pour it on top of the cake. Serve with whiskey cream.

Recipe from Christmas With Gordon's book

Photo from the Chef's official website

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