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Brandy butter

This is the sauce that’s traditionally served in Britain with hot Christmas pudding, mince pies or even festive berry crumbles and cobblers. Any hot pudding will do… the aim is for the sweet slice of boozy, buttery richness to melt slowly over it. You’re only using three ingredients here, so make them good quality. Brandy is the classic for Christmas, but you can make this with rum, whisky or sherry if that’s what you’ve got to hand. 

In America they call this, rather unromantically, ‘hard sauce’. And, absolutely bizarrely, at England’s Cambridge University it’s known as Senior Wrangler sauce – the Senior Wrangler being the university’s top mathematics scholar. So maybe recite your times tables while you beat. 

Ingredients

125g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
110g pure icing sugar
45ml brandy (a bit over 2 tablespoons)

Method

Beat the butter and sugar until white and fluffy. Gradually mix in the brandy until thoroughly combined. If the sauce ‘splits’ when you add the brandy (which happens often and is really not a drama) simply beat in more icing sugar until it comes together again. 

If not serving immediately, spoon onto a piece of plastic wrap, roll up tightly into a sausage shape, twist the ends to seal and keep in the fridge. Cut slices off to serve with hot Christmas pudding, mince pies or even festive crumbles! 

Serves 6–10, depending on what else is on the table and everyone’s level of overeating!