Sunday, 30 October 2011

Christmas Pudding Tutorial

These little "puddings" are of course a bath bomb in disguise.
Packed with the usual array of fizzing ingredients we've added some detoxifying Epsom Salts (for texture as well as therapeutic value) and a little skin loving Sweet Almond oil for a touch of luxury.  You can make them without and stick with a simple Witch Hazel bath bomb recipe if you prefer.

For authenticity we've also thrown in a handful of sugar strands - the sort you'd decorate a cake with.  These will dissolve in a warm bath with no ill effect but will help create a Christmas Pud effect.  Again, omit these if you prefer.

Ingredients (will make 5/6 large pudding pot puds or several 50 or 60mm round puds)

500g Sodium Bicarbonate
250g Citric Acid
100g Cornflour (optional but advised if using spherical rigid moulds)
15g Epsom Salts 
15ml Sweet Almond Oil (Or other vegetable base oil such as Grape Seed)
10-15ml Toiletry Grade Fragrance Concentrate - Christmas Pudding is ideal!
1/2 tsp of Chocolate Brown Water Soluble Colour Powder
Crystalina Cosmetic Glitter
Chocolate and White Sugar Strands
Witch Hazel as needed to bind the mix
Holly & Berry decoration or similar
Red and Green cake sprinkles (any design)(optional)
Small grip seal bag & a Sixpence (optional)

(Click HERE for a kit containing the ingredients to make your own Puds!)
You will also need; two plastic mixing bowls, gloves and a mask if susceptible to the dust created when mixing the dry ingredients.  If you wish to use up any leftover mix, have an ice cube type mould or some petit four cases handy.

Finally the other magic "ingredient" you will need for these is the pudding pot.  We've reused a clean steamed pudding bowl - the type you can buy containing a chocolate or treacle microwave pudding.  (Isn't that the perfect excuse to rush out and buy a fridge full?!!) You can also use an old plastic shop bought christmas pudding bowl provided it is the smallest size.  If you can' t get these though, you can still make a gorgeous pudding in a regular 50 or 60mm 2 part mould.

Step 1

Wearing gloves all the time and using your hands to mix;

Mix Bicarb, Citric Corn flour and Epsom Salts in one bowl.  When thoroughly combined, put one third of the mix into the second bowl.  The larger bowl will become your brown "pudding" portion of the finished product and the smaller bowl will remain white and act as the white sauce on top of the pudding.
Step 2 The large bowl

Add the brown powder colour.  Stir thoroughly. 
Add sprinkles if using.
Add 5-10ml of fragrance concentrate a few drops at a time stirring constantly.
Add 10ml of Sweet Almond Oil and stir thoroughly
Spritz with Witch hazel 5 or 6 sprays at a time and mix well until your mixture is holding together - like the sand you make sandcastles with this mix should be damp but not wet.  If you can form a clump in your hand that doesn't crumble, it's probably ready.

Step 3 The small bowl

Working quickly...

To the small bowl add some crystallina and stir through if using
Add 5ml of Fragrance concentrate and mix well
Add 5ml of Sweet Almond Oil and mix well
Spritz with Witch hazel as above

You will need to work quickly to ensure your large mix doesn't dry out whilst you're mixing.  If it has, spritz a few times with Witch Hazel and continue to the next step.

Step 4


If using pudding pots

If you want to top your pudding with glitter you can simply sprinkle some into the pot before filling.

Fill the pot to about a fifth of the way up with white mix - this will be the top of the pudding.

Ensure that the mix is compact - push down with your fingers as you fill the pot. Don't worry about an even edge as these are most effective with a natural looking wavy edge to the "sauce".

Follow immediately with the brown mix filling the pot to the top, pushing the mix down as you do so.  Level the base with your hands.

Set aside and repeat until all pots are full.

Allow to dry for about 15 minutes and then de mould. We suggest you don't leave it longer or your puddings may become stuck. 

To de mould simply upturn the pudding, supporting it underneath with your hand and place on a flat surface upside down.  Push gently in the middle of the pot and if necessary very gently squeeze the sides of the pot.  The pudding bomb should just slide out.  If not, leave 5 minutes and try again.

Add your decoration at this point, before the bath bomb is too hard.  Using a holly topper gently push the "stalk" into the bath bomb - avoid too much pressure or your bath bomb may crack.  If you do see a crack forming carefully push it back together.

Sprinkle with glitter if using.

Leave the puddings at least another 45 minutes before attempting to wrap.

Using 2 part moulds;

Take one half of a mould and fill with brown mix - over fill if you can.  Take the second half, pop a few red and white sprinkles into the mould if using and then use the mould to scoop some white mix into itself.  Now carefully scoop some brown mix into this second half, again using the mould.  What you're trying to do is create a small "blob" of white on top of the sphere to represent the sauce.  Really, it isn't crucial how you do this as the combination of the two colours and some red and white sprinkles or a sprig of holly will do the trick and create a stunning effect.  When you have the second half full bring the two halves together smoothly and without twisting the halves.  This does take some practice therefore to avoid endng up with bowls of mixed colour, we suggest you perform this bit of the moulding process over a sheet of kitchen paper. 

Allow to dry in the moulds for 10-20 minutes according to size and then gently ease one half of the mould away. At this point if you're using a plastic Holly topper we suggest you put that onto your bath bomb now, gently easing the "stalk" into the white area of the bath bomb.  Sprinkle with glitter if using.

Allow to set further for 10 more minutes before removing the final half.  Your puds will need another 30-50 minutes to dry to the point where it's safe to pick them up and wrap them.

Using leftover mix

If you have some petit four cases, and your mix isn't too dry you can try rolling some into small balls and dusting with glitter or even cocoa powder for a truffle effect.  Or even just creating hand rolled mini puds.  If your mix is really dry you can always spritz or add a tiny amount of Almond Oil to help with this.

If you really want to go a step further and add a touch of nostalgia why not embed something in your puddings?  Using a small grip seal bag, there's just enough room for a coin for instance.

Enjoy!  This recipe will be featured in Making Magazine's November issue, do have a look at their website packed full of craft ideas. 


The Bathtime Team said...

Hello from one of your customers! said...

Hello & Welcome, great to see you. Hope you had a lovely Christmas & New Year :)