Place all the pudding ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to mix.
Grease liberally a 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding basin and a 600 ml (1 pint) pudding basin. Spoon the mixture into each basin until just over three-quarters full, then cover with circles of greased greaseproof paper, then with foil or a pudding cloth. Fold a pleat in the centre and tie string securely around the rim.
Place in the top of a steamer or double boiler, or put in a large pan and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides. Boil for 6–8 hours, depending on size, topping up with boiling water as necessary. Remove the puddings from the pans and leave overnight to cool.
Remove the coverings and recover with fresh greased greaseproof paper and foil or a pudding cloth. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 6 months.
Reboil the puddings for 3–4 hours, depending on size, then turn out on to a warm dish. Warm the brandy, pour over the pudding and set alight. Serve with crème anglaise (see below) or brandy butter, rum butter or brandy cream (see