Produces enough for two large Hokan Bowls (if using one then halve the ingredients)
1. Get your two large Hokan Bowls (or one if you are halving the ingredients), a steaming pan large enough to fit the two, or one, Hokan in and be able to put a lid on top.
2. In a medium Hokan put in all of the fruit along with the brandy, put the lid on and leave to soak overnight. It is also worth putting the butter in the freezer so as to be gratable when needed.
3. Dice the bread and use a food processor to make fine crumbs.
4. In a large mixing bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, spices and salt making sure that there are no lumps of sugar.
5. If you peel the apple or keep it whole, grate it along with the butter into the mixed ingredients.
6. Then add the eggs, treacle and lemon zest and mix up with a wooden spoon. This is a gym of life workout!
7. Now add to that the almonds and the brandy-soaked dried fruit from earlier including all of the liquid, and keep on stirring.
8. The pudding can now be steamed or kept in the fridge for a week for the flavours to develop even more.
9. To steam, generously butter the insides of the Hokan Bowls and fill them to 3/4 full with the pudding mixture. Pack down the mix to a smooth finish.
10. Use a Hokan lid to cut out a circular piece of parchment paper, butter one side and then place on top of the pudding, then put the Hokan lid on. You can always put a larger piece of foil over the whole lid and top of the bowl and use a rubber band to seal against any water whilst it is steaming.
11. Now place the Hokan into the steaming pan. We use a stainless steel pan and the Hokan Bowl just sits on the bottom and it works without a mark. However if you are unsure about your pan getting damaged you can either put a teacloth on the base or use a trivet to lift it off.
12. Once you have done that, fill the pan 1/4 full and bring to the boil. Then lower your Hokan carefully into the pan and use boiling water from the kettle to top up to halfway up the Hokan.
13. Cover the pan, set the heat to medium-low or low to set the water at a gentle simmer – NOT boiling, and leave for 6 hours. Check regularly that the water in the pan doesn’t steam off and replenish to the halfway point on the Hokan as needed.
14. After 6 hours of checking every 30 minutess remove the Hokan and let it cool at room temperature. You can store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
15. About 2 hours before you want to eat the pudding, reheat it in the Hokan Bowl by steaming in the pan again as before. Then take the Hokan lid off and put its serving plate over the top and invert it so that the pudding drops out. Leave it a little to allow gravity to assist.
16. Sometimes it needs a pat with the palm of your hand to loosen it and coax it out, then place the serving plate back to sit it on without breaking the pudding.
17. Set it at the table, pour some brandy over the top, light it and awwww!
Enjoy your pudding. If you don’t eat it all, you know where you can keep it – yep, back in the Hokan that it came from and put the lid on to keep its moisture.