500g mixed dried fruit (currants, oranges, dates etc.), roughly chopped
280g caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups soft white breadcrumbs
Mix the fruit and Guiness together in a non-reactive bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave overnight to soak.
Cream together the butter and sugar then beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold through the dry ingredients and fruit mixture, including any liquid collecting in the bottom of the bowl.
Grease and line the base of 2-3 pudding basins and divide the mixture between them. Cover tightly with more greaseproof paper and aluminium foil and leave overnight in the fridge.
Place a small rack, trivet or layer of tea towels in the base of a large saucepan big enough to fit your pudding basins. Fill the saucepan with boiling water three-quarters of the way up your pudding basins. Bring to a simmer and cover, continuing to simmer for 3 and a half hours, topping up the water every hour. Alternatively, steam the puddings for 7 and a half hours, topping up the steaming water every half hour.
Turn out the puddings, slice and serve with vanilla custard.