This is the traditional version of flummery recipe made with oatmeal and chocolate. I’ve made this recipe dairy free and suitable for vegans and vegetarian diets. It’s based on a historic recipe, which is made overnight and doesn’t need any gelatine to set.
Why make this recipe?
- Unusual pudding recipe
- Based on a historic recipe
- Great nutritional content, including fibre
- Dairy and gluten free
This recipe and me
I was recently re-watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries when in one episode Aunt Prudence gets served a vanilla flummery with passion fruit sauce. It is made as a test dish by Mary (one of the ‘wayward girls’) who want to be considered for a permanent position at Mrs Stanley’s residence.
I should also mention that Mary is heavily pregnant with a child, which complicates matters a bit, but in the end, she does get the job, and Aunt Prudence begrudgingly admits that her flummery was rather good!
I have to say, I didn’t know what flummery was, so I thought I’d look it up! There are several different versions of the original recipe, and over the years people made their own variations of this versatile pudding.
As I was researching the variations of this recipe, I realised that my favourite milk pudding that we used to make a lot when I was growing up is very similar to the more basic versions.
What exactly is Flummery and where did it come from?
Flummery became popular in Britain in 17 century and continued to be made as a pudding well into 19th century.
The word flummery is believed to come from the Welsh name for a similar pudding called ‘llymru’. In 17th and 18th century the pudding was also called thlummery or flamery.
The original flummery recipe involved soaking oatmeal oats in water overnight, straining it and then boiling the oats water with sugar until it thickened. The flummery was then poured in a jelly mould and left to set in the fridge.
As you can see, this original recipe is completely different from the modern recipes. This is because over the years, people needed to make the recipe faster, which is why most modern recipes include gelatine and milk rather than overnight soaked oats.
There are also lots of different flavours that this pudding can be made with. My favourite includes chocolate, strawberry, banana or vanilla, but rose water or rose water substitutes, coffee, pineapple or raspberries work brilliantly too.
The recipe travelled to Australia, where in the middle of 20th century the local cooks turned the original recipe into completely different version including evaporated milk, sugar and gelatine which would be boiled and then whipped to a light mousse.
I’m not entirely sure where the flummery meets milk pudding, panna cotta, milk jelly and blancmange, but a lot of recipes seems to be interchangeable.
My top tips on making this recipe successfully the first time round
This recipe needs to be planned in advance – you need 48 hrs minimum to soak the oats before you cook the pudding. You can speed up the setting process slightly by following my tips for setting jelly faster, but overall this recipe does take a time time and it can’t be rushed.
Don’t skip the salt as this helps to bring the flavours together
Use strong, good quality cocoa powder or add a 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee granules to make the chocolate flavour robust.
Ingredients & Possible Substitutions
I like to go back to the original recipe first, which is why I’m including the first version with oatmeal. The original recipe is measured by ‘hands’, which is actually very easy to follow.
I’ve converted the recipe to grams and litres, but if you want to follow the original recipe you’d start with 3 handfuls of oats and the same amount of water. The second day you add the same amount of water to the rest of the mixture (e.g. doubling the size with cold water)
The original recipe doesn’t include salt, but I think a tiny pinch of salt brings all the flavours nicely together. Since the original recipe includes very subtle flavours, a tiny pinch of salt prevents the pudding from becoming too bland.
I have also tried this recipe with the addition of a tiny pinch of cinnamon, which goes brilliantly well with the orange and honey.
You can also serve this traditional flummery with any fruit you like, raspberries are my favourite!
Fine oats seems to work better with this recipe, but any kind of oats will do. We will really use just the water soaked oats and won’t need the whole oats. Whilst this might seem wasteful, I always use the discarded oats to make my Nutella Porridge Recipe, add them to brownies or make pancakes. Plan something else you can make with them whilst your oats are soaking overnight.
Cheap and cheerful, this recipe is using water as the main liquid to soak up the oats.
Any kind of sugar is fine and since this flummery recipe version has chocolate, something like molasses sugar or natural coconut sugar or it’s alternatives work really well. Normal white sugar is fine too (granulated, caster or fine – any kind will do)
Definitely don’t skip salt, it helps to bring all the flavours together
You can also use cocoa powder and any cocoa powder substitutions, such as chocolate bar – milk or dark is best, but you can easily use white chocolate too (it will be just a bit too sweet).
This is the basic chocolate flummery recipe, but I find that other flavouring ingredients, such as spices help to make this recipe a bit different every time you make it. Next time try these:
- Coffee granules (for extra chocolate flavour)
- Vanilla extract
The method – Instructions
Soak the oatmeal oats in cold water for 24 hours.
After this time, add an equal quantity of water (another 200 ml) and leave another 24 hours.
Then strain the oatmeal mixture through a fine sieve, add a heaped tablespoon (or two) of caster sugar and cocoa powder.
Bring to a boil and carry on boiling until the oatmeal mixture is very thick.
Pour into glass dishes and leave to cool down in room temperature before moving it to a fridge to set properly.
When you are ready to serve this dessert, add cream and if you like a dash of something stronger like whisky or Irish cream to complement the flavour.
Allergies & dietary requirements
This recipe is naturally gluten free and dairy free, providing you use dark chocolate or bitter cocoa powder. If you are sensitive or allergic to gluten you might like to buy gluten free oats to make sure there is no cross contamination.
Serving size & can I scale up or down this recipe?
This recipe is a great desert for 2 people and you are welcome to double or triple up the recipe. It will take longer to cook/boil during the last stages of preparing this pudding, but the preparation – soaking time will be the same.
How to serve chocolate flummery
This pudding is perfectly fine on it’s own, but works great with the following combinations.
- Fresh raspberries
- Fruit syrup or coulis
- Whipped cream
- Irish cream or coffee liqueur
- Homemade fruit curds, such as Blood Orange Curd
Can this recipe be made in advance?
Once cooked and set, it will last for about 2 days in the fridge, but I’ve not tried to keep it for much longer. By default, this recipe does need to be made in advance, as you need to plan to start about 2 days before you want this pudding!
How to store any leftovers
Store in the fridge, covered or in a suitable container and eat within few days. Similarly like jelly based puddings, flummery will last in the fridge for 1-3 days, but it’s best to eat fresh.
Why not stay in touch…
I hope you enjoy making this recipe and if you do, I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or find me on Instagram or Facebook and add the hashtag #cocoaandheart so that I can see your post.
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Chocolate Flummery Recipe
- 100 grams oatmeal
- 100 millilitres cold water for the first soaking
- 200 millilitres cold water for the second day soaking for the second day soaking
- 1-2 tablespoons white sugar depends on your taste
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Soak the oatmeal oats in cold water for 24 hours.
- After this time, add an equal quantity of water (another 200 ml) and leave another 24 hours.
- Then strain the oatmeal mixture through a fine sieve, add a heaped tablespoon (or two) of caster sugar, pinch of salt and cocoa powder.
- Bring to a boil and carry on boiling until the oatmeal mixture is very thick.
- Pour into glass dishes or bowls and leave to cool down in room temperature before moving it to a fridge to set properly. This might take about 1-2 hrs.
- When you are ready to serve this dessert, add cream, fresh raspberries or something stronger like irish cream to complement the flavour.