For the pudding, empty the first six
cups and the nuts, if using, into a mixing
bowl with the spices, then stir in the milk
and egg. Once well combined, tip into
a buttered 1.5 litre pudding bowl.
Cover with a double layer of buttered foil,
making a pleat in the centre to allow the
pudding to rise. Tie the foil securely with
string, then place in a steamer or large pan
containing enough gently simmering water
to come halfway up the sides of the bowl.
Steam, covered with a lid, for 21?2 hours.
Check the water level during cooking,
topping up if necessary. If you are preparing
this pudding ahead, remove the foil, let it
cool slightly, then wrap in cling film and then
fresh foil. If you are serving it immediately,
unwrap and invert onto a deep plate.
For the sauce, put everything in a pan and
bring slowly to the boil, stirring. Allow to
bubble away for 2-3 minutes, still stirring,
until the sugar has dissolved and the
sauce is pale caramel in colour and slightly
thickened. Remove from the heat. Pour the
sauce over the pudding and decorate with
the whole mixed nuts.