I decided to try a traditional dessert for Christmas this year. Plum pudding is a big to-do, it turns out, because it needs to be started a minimum of eight days before you are going to serve it.
First you soak dried fruit in 3/4 cup cognac. Then you make puddings out of it, and soak those in another 1/2 cup cognac for at least a week.
Then the big feature is that you pour flaming cognac over the top when you serve it. We had Christmas dinner at Chris and Jared's house, and sure enough it was very pretty. Chris took some video:
You also serve it with a "hard sauce" which is cognac mixed up with confectioner's sugar and a little butter. That was very tasty, but the pudding was kind of a dud.
As you may have guessed, the pudding ended up STRONGLY alcoholic in flavor and content. I was disappointed to find out that I couldn't even really taste any of the ingredients, and could only guess at what kind of fruit I was chewing on. I took one bite and pretty much exhaled pure cognac in Alex's face when I turned to him to tell him about it!
The conclusion: I very much like the idea of plum pudding, but I will need to find (or make) a recipe where cognac is an accent, not the whole point of the dish.