Traditional Christmas pudding is delicious, and beloved by many.  However, it’s quite solid after a huge meal.

Besides, it’s now too late to make your own puds for this year.  How about trying something different?

Everyone loves chocolate, and rich though this recipe is, it doesn’t weigh you down quite as much as a plum pudding. Homemade ice cream is always a treat too.

 A fondant looks impressive as you break into it to reveal a rich and luscious lake of chocolate – so it’s suitably celebratory for the big day. 

The ice cream is a useful addition as you can make this well in advance. 

The trick with Christmas is to do as much as possible ahead of the day. And never refuse an offer of help.

As well as taking the pressure off the huge list of tasks, the process of conjuring up Christmas dinner is much more fun if everyone mucks in.

Dark chocolate fondant with condensed milk ice cream

Serves 4

Ingredients for fondant                     250g dark chocolate 70 per cent                         

250g butter                                           

4 eggs                                                      

4 egg yolks                                             

50g sugar                                         

100g plain flour

Ingredients for ice cream

1.6 litres full cream milk

150g sugar

200ml condensed milk

40g glucose

1.5 sheets gelatine

 Method for condensed milk ice cream:

Split milk into two – 1.5litre and 100ml

Put 1.5ltr milk in pan with sugar – on a low heat and reduce until 1litre (stirring regularly)

Mix this with condensed milk and glucose until dissolved on a low heat

Soak gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes, squeeze out and add to milk

Add remaining milk

Churn and freeze

Method for fondant:

Set oven to 185C

Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water (Do not let bowl touch water)

Whip 4 eggs and yolks with sugar until pale 

Then add chocolate into egg mixture,

Fold in sifted flour 

Grease mould with butter, then sprinkle in cocoa powder and shake out, 

Pipe mix evenly into moulds 

Bake for approx 8mins, (should still have a runny centre)

Turn out and serve with ice cream