2015 Press Releases

Perfect pudding for the holiday season

23 Dec 2015
The George Boole College pudding Image: Clare Keogh

These George Boole little puddings are wonderfully satisfying and made all the better when served hot with a sweet, buttery wine sauce. 

The recipe below is an adapted version of one that is included in Mrs Mary Honner’s recipe collection. In line with her instructions, these are baked in the oven rather than steamed. There was an immense range of baked and steamed sweet puddings in 19th-century recipes collections and the one that is remembered best and still enjoyed is the Christmas pudding. These puddings were usually served with a sweet sauce. "They are quick and easy to make and in the recipe below I’ve replaced the suet with butter to give a lighter pudding," says Regina Sexton Food and culinary historian at UCC who has adapted the original College pudding to suit tastes of 2015.


Serves 4

Oven 180 C/350F/gas 4

Four small pudding bowls, greased


College Puddings

110g/4 oz. raisins

2 tablespoons sherry

60g/ 2 ½ oz. breadcrumbs

50g/ 2 oz. flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 – 1 ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

25g/1 oz. candied lemon peel

75g/3oz. butter

50g/2 oz. caster sugar

1 large egg

6 tablespoons milk

Nutmeg and lemon for garnishing


Preheat the oven.

In a small bowl soak the raisins in the sherry for about an hour or until they have plump-up and absorbed all the liquid.

In a large bowl mix the flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder and sugar.

Mix in the raisins and candied lemon.

Gently melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and pour into the dry mixture along with the egg and milk.

Mix to a batter and then fill the greased pudding bowls.

Bake the puddings in a bain marie for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the puddings.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand while you make the sauce.


Wine Sauce

25g/1 oz. butter, softened at room temperature

½ teaspoon flour

120 ml/4 fl. oz. water

40g/ 1 ½ oz. caster sugar

Rind of half a lemon, thinly sliced

180 ml/6 fl. oz. sherry, Madeira or white wine


Mix the softened butter with the flour and set aside.

Place the water, sugar and lemon peel in a heavy- bottomed saucepan.

Bring to the boiling stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Turn down the heat and leave to bubble for c. 10- 15 minutes.

Strain the peel and leave the syrup on the heat for another minute or so until it starts to turn brown.

Remove from the heat, add in the butter/flour mixture and stir it through until you have a smooth thicken sauce.

Stir in the sherry, Madeira or white wine and serve immediately with the hot puddings.


To serve

Remove the puddings from the bowls and pour the hot wine sauce over each pudding.

Garnish with slivers of lemon peel and a little grated nutmeg.


 About George Boole

In 1849, George Boole was appointed the first Professor of Mathematics at Queen’s College, now University College Cork. His research became a prelude to modern mathematics, microelectronic engineering and computer science. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that Boole laid the foundations of the Information Age. Boole received a Gold Medal for Mathematics in 1844 from the Royal Society, the first to be awarded to a pure mathematician, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1857. He published many scientific papers and four books, the most famous of which is his magnum opus, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, written while a professor in UCC, and published in 1854.

What came to be known as Boolean algebra was used by the engineer Claude Shannon in the 1930s to design electrical circuits which could be used to carry out sequences of logical instructions based on the binary values “on/true” or “off/ false”. These circuits evolved into modern computers and the instruction sequences became computer programmes, or algorithms. Thus, Boole’s work provides the mathematical and logical underpinning of computers, not only in their languages, but in their very construction. 

More http://georgeboole.com/

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