Monday, 16 November 2009

Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding Challenge

Yesterday I had the final tasting session for my entry to the Matthew Walker pudding challenge. We managed to munch our way through almost 600g of Christmas pudding. Let me set the scene:

Matthew Walker is the World’s Oldest Christmas Pudding Maker, creating puddings in the heart of Derbyshire since 1899.

Matthew Walker ‘The Pudding’ - made to "Recipe 13, "The Perfect Christmas Pudding Recipe" - contains the 13 core ingredients that were used to represent Jesus and his 12 Apostles. They are: sultanas, raisins, demerara sugar, currants, glacé cherries, Thornbridge stout, breadcrumbs, sherry, vegetable suet, almonds, orange and lemon peel, cognac and mixed spice).

The Pudding Challenge
To spice up Christmas, Matthew Walker set a challenge to use ‘The Pudding’ and create some cracking alternative Christmas fare to get the taste buds tingling! The blogger who conjures up the most creative cuisine wins a top of the range camera along with a one-to-one session with a respected home economist, to help make those foodie photos really stand out.

My Entry
My first idea was to try and conjure up a three course meal using The Pudding in each of the courses. However, I couldn't come up with a suitable starter, but have managed a canapé, two mains and six puddings. In each of the recipes I was trying to accentuate a flavour from The Pudding and also combine different textures and flavours. My recipes are:

Pudding nibbles
Small skewers with cubes of Lancashire cheese, caramelised cubes of "The Pudding" and cubes of apple (doused in lemon juice to keep the colour)

Ballotine of duck leg stuffed with The Pudding
The duck leg was boned and stuffed with a mixture of "The Pudding" and sausage meat, then roasted. The duck was served on celeriac mash accompanied by brussel sprouts with bacon and chestnuts. Some of the remaining stuffing was roasted and served separately.
Pork sausages stuffed with The Pudding
The sausage was split down the middle and a layer of The Pudding and Lancashire inserted. The sausage was wrapped in Parma ham and then roasted. It was served with celeriac mash and Brussel sprouts (as above).

Christmas Pudding Charlotte
This is a take on a classic English charlotte. A small Matthew Walker pudding was hollowed out and filled with a mixture of raisins and apple pureé. The pudding was served with a quenelle of brandy butter, cubes of caramelised pudding and caramel sauce and cream.

Baked "The Pudding" Alaska
A disc of The Pudding was topped with vanilla ice-cream (rum and raisin would work well also) and a spoonful of apple pureé. The whole lot was covered in meringue and baked. The hot Alaska was served with caramel sauce.

Queen of "The Pudding"
A take on the classic English queen of puddings. Crumbs of The Pudding were mixed with a fresh custard and baked until set. Orange marmalade was then layered on and the whole lot covered in meringue and baked until the meringue was cooked.

Panattone and "The Pudding" custard bake
This is a take on bread and butter pudding using panettone and The Pudding. Slices of The Pudding were caramelised and layered in a dish with slices of panettone. A cognac sabayon was then spooned over the slices. A liberal dusting of icing sugar was added before the whole dish was caramelised using a blowtorch

"The Pudding" parcels
A mix of The Pudding, Lancashire cheese and apple was used to fill filo "money bags" and served with a caramel sauce.

"The Pudding" Mess
This is a take on Eton mess using caramelised cubes of The Pudding, cream and berries.

After a couple of attempts at this I have decided my preferred layers are:

Chocolate shavings
Cream and mascapone laced with sherry
Caramelised cubes of The Pudding
Cream and mascapone laced with sherry
Winter berries
Cream and mascapone laced with sherry
Crumbs of The Pudding soaked in cognac

However, I couldn't try this out as I'd run out of pudding by this point!

1 comment:

  1. These deserts were genius, my particular favourite being the caramelised cubes of christmas pudding in the Eton mess!


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