Why doesn’t a flaming Christmas pudding burn?

To create this quintessential Christmas centrepiece, just before serving the recipe will tell you to heat up an alcoholic spirit, such as brandy.

You then pour it all over the prized pud, and proceed to the table to start the show. When set alight, it’s the vapour from the alcohol that burns (this was released when you warmed the spirit moments before lighting it). The pudding never actually catches fire and so doesn’t burn at all.

The flames go out when all the alcohol is vaporised, leaving nothing but a tasty, perfectly cooked festive dessert behind. Pass the brandy butter?

Find out the answers to more curious questions in the latest issue of How It Works magazine. It’s available from all good retailers, or you can order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, make sure you subscribe today!

Plus, take a look at:

How do Christmas crackers work? 

Top 5 Facts: Christmas 

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