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Christmas Cracker Puddings with Mascarpone Rum Cream
Serves 6
This recipe comes from Jeff Baker, the chef at J Baker’s Bistro Moderne in York. It was he who introduced me to this wonderful Tunisian pastry called feuilles de brick. It feels like lacy cloth with a satiny sheen and when baked has a soft and light crunchiness that’s much nicer than filo.

3 individual luxury Christmas puddings (approx. 113g each or leftover Christmas pudding)
the grated zest of 1 medium orange
the grated zest of 1 lemon
7 sheets feuilles de brick (brick pastry)
1 tablespoon icing sugar

For the Mascarpone Rum Cream
250g mascarpone
3 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum

A baking tray, lightly greased.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

First of all mix the rum with the muscovado sugar in a small bowl and leave it stand so the sugar has time to dissolve (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile turn out the Christmas puddings into a bowl along with the grated zests and mix well with a fork.

Now divide it into six equal portions and roll each one on a clean flat surface into a sausage shape (about 12cm in length). Next carefully peel one of the sheets of pastry away from its backing paper and lay it on a clean, dry surface. Then turn the first 6cm of pastry nearest to you inwards to make a fold.

Place one of the rolled pudding pieces centrally along the folded edge and roll it tightly away from you so you have a long cigar shape. Repeat the process with the remaining pastry and filling then arrange them, evenly spaced, on the baking tray. Now take the remaining sheet of pastry and, using a pair of scissors, cut 12 ribbons of pastry (1cm wide) from the centre of the pastry (so the ribbons will be longer). Next, pinch the pastry around both ends of each pudding and gently tie with a pastry ribbon – without pulling too tightly or it will break.

When all the crackers are tied pop the tray on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for 18 minutes. Meanwhile make the rum cream by combining the rum-and-sugar mixture with the mascarpone using an electric hand-whisk.

When the crackers are baked, let them stand for 10 minutes before cutting each one in half diagonally with a serrated knife. Serve them, one half-cracker leaning against the other, dusted with some icing sugar and Mascarpone Rum Cream on the side. Well-chilled whipped or pouring cream also makes a good accompaniment.
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