Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Twist on A Figgy Pudding

     Thanks to Disney Channel's Phineas and Ferb, children all over the US are becoming familiar with a most unusual holiday tradition: the Figgy Pudding.  Chaos must have asked me at least 5 times to make him a figgy pudding before I finally relented.

     When I saw Kitchen-Play's menu for the month, I knew exactly how I wanted my Figgy Pudding to taste- spicy, sweet, fruity, rich with a savory and salty bite.  Kitchen-Play is a site where each month a sponsor offers bloggers the opportunity to create a themed menu based off their products.  Then, the challenge goes out to food bloggers around the world to create your own version of their menu items for a change to win some fabulous prizes.  I'm such a food-geek anyway, this was right up my alley.  This month's sponsor of Kitchen Play is a spice emporium of the sort that makes my jaw drop and my taste buds drool.  Seriously, I've spent HOURS browsing their online shop and I'm trying to figure out where I'd put all the spices; after all, I can't live without most of them now that I know where to locate them!

     Inspired by the amuse bouche course of Spiced Cake Bites Topped with Cardamom Goat Cheese and Maple Bacon that was created by blogger Wasabi Prime, I give you Figgy Pudding Cake Balls.
Kind of looks like a little bird hunkering down.  Even on desserts I go kawaii!

Figgy Pudding Cake Balls with Cardamom Cream Cheese Glaze

Ingredients for the Pudding:
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup dried figs
peel from an orange
1/2 inch knob of peeled ginger1/2 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup dried currants
3 crispy strips of bacon, drained well 1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of pumpkin puree
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups of AP flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
pinch of salt
2 batches of Cream Cheese Glaze

Ingredients for Glaze:
4 oz of cream cheese
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 cups of icing sugar
1 egg white
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

 In a small sauce pan, combine the dried figs, orange peel, and ginger with the milk.  Place over low heat and bring to a simmer.  Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.  Strain, reserving milk for later.  Place ginger knob and orange peel into food processor and pulse until finely minced.  Add in figs, apricots, currants, and bacon and pulse in five second increments until diced.  (You do not want this to be mush!)  In a mixing bowl, combine sugars, molasses, syrup, vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and pumpkin.  Combine until smooth.  Add in flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and pepper and combine until smooth.  Stir in diced fruit and bacon.  Pour into a greased spring form pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour (or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.) Cool for thirty minutes before crumbling into small pieces.  Mix in glaze 2 tablespoons at a time and combine until the texture is like lumpy modeling clay.  Using a small scoop, portion out the Figgy Pudding into small "balls".  Chill or freeze balls for at least two hours before glazing.

To make the glaze, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add in the egg white.  Slowly mix in the powdered sugar and cardamom and mix until smooth.

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