Sunday, December 27, 2015

How Did Christmas Pudding We Know and Love Originate?

Christmas pudding is one of the most famous and widely enjoyed desserts in the western world. Now a days you can find lots of variations in Christmas puddings, you can even find healthy delicious gluten free versions! But it has a beginning. Since it first appeared in the 15th century, it has been given many names including plum pudding, figgy puddy and colloquially ‘pud’. 


Being such an old and traditional delicacy, it has firmly established itself as one of the staples of the Christmas meal and remains one of the holiday’s strongest icons. Just like any other Christmas traditions, the plum pudding and its connection to Christmas took many years to develop.



Christmas Puddings Today


Plum pudding is usually steamed twice in a pudding cloth. After it is boiled once, the pud is kept to dry and to enhance the flavours over time. Again it needs few hours of steaming before it is served. Pudding can be kept for many months and can be enjoyed both hot and normal temperature. At Christmas time though, pud is usually eaten with hard sauce, cream, custard, or brandy butter.


A Brief History of Christmas Pudding


The idea of the traditional Christmas pudding originated in England more than 500 years ago. Although, there are considerable variations in modern plum puddings from to those that were enjoyed at that time. You might not be aware, but Xmas puddings actually started out as a porridge made out of mutton, beef, spices, raisins, currants, prunes, and wines, quite different to the fruity pudding flavours we’ve come to adore.




However as time passed on, a pudding evolution took place. Due to the abundance of prunes, more of plums, raisins, and other dried fruit became main ingredients. Eventually, the taste of pud changed from savoury to sweet. And, the plum pudding started taking a thickened form with more flavour absorbed from stronger spirits such as beer and other alcohol. Although, meat elements are not there anymore, the traditional Christmas pudding recipes include suet (raw beef or mutton fat) which would’ve been found in early recipes of that time.

King George I declared the pudding to be a Christmas delicacy after having it served at a royal Christmas feast some 200 years later after it first appeared.


Flamed Puddings?


The way in which a Christmas pudding is served also has a strong tradition, one of which is ‘flamed’ or ‘fired’. Here, the pudding is doused with flaming brandy. This adds flavour to it and gives the pud a certain crispiness.


Here’s how you go about it. Heat ½ a cup of brandy in a saucepan, and light the spirit using a match. Immediately pour the flaming liquid over the pudding. As well as brandy, you can also use rum or whisky. It is important to stay safe while lighting the pud. First, use a long match to ignite the spirit. Then, be careful to pour the flaming brandy only over the pudding slowly. Just a heads up, it’s probably a good idea to avoid too much alcohol before going for this!


In Australia and New Zealand, regardless of the hot weather, plum puddings remain a popular part of a traditional Christmas feast. Because they’re so long lasting, you can order them pre made and get delivered and they taste amazing!



Friday, June 26, 2015

Treat Your Guests with These Delicious Dessert Presentation Ideas




There's no doubt that dessert is often the most popular course of a good dining experience, and with so many different desserts to choose from these days, the desserts that really stand out often have impeccable presentation and look every good as they taste!

Presenting your desserts at home doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, so let’s look at some of the simplest ways to create a stunning dessert presentation with no experience necessary!


For more mouth-watering dessert and food ideas stay tuned with Pud for all Seasons! Now let's check a few dessert presentation tricks that will blow your guests's minds!!




  Turn a Simple Dish into a Masterpiece


One of the best ideas to turn a simple plate of dessert into a masterpiece is to take it off the plate altogether. Use some of the more modern looking presentation glasses and goblets you can get from any local store or supermarket and turn your desserts into a stunning work of art.

Use See Through Glasses

This presentation works best when your dessert has multiple layers of ingredients, so if you make the best chocolate and biscuit yogurt dessert this side of Timbuktu, then show off all of your hard work.
Slowly layer each glass with each ingredient to create multiple layers that can be seen through the glass itself. If each ingredient is on display, you will have your guests watering at the mouth in anticipation to taste your delicious creation!



Use the Cutlery to Your Advantage


Another great way to introduce a dessert to guests in a sophisticated way is to use the cutlery itself as the presentation device. Many upscale restaurants use simple, single serving spoons with a variety of different desserts on them as a way to allow for a sumptuous dessert, whilst getting a little bit of everything.


Entertain Your Guests with Delicious Canapés

This is a great idea for parties or evenings where you may have many guests, as your guests can enjoy little bites of delicious desserts, and leave you will little or no clean-up afterwards. Make your cutlery your bite size Canapés
[Image Source: linkedin.com]


Decorate the Plate


A popular way to bring your dessert presentation game up to scratch is to use extra ingredients to decorate your plate or serving device. When serving a gourmet pudding or cake, many like to sprinkle grated chocolate, or use a fruit coulis to decorate the plate. This is a great way to add a little extra chocolate sauce or sugar to the plate and allow your guests to take what they deem suitable in each spoonful.

Make the Plate Your Canvas

Try using different shapes plates, bowls and cutlery to suit your cooking style to add an extra dimension to your desserts. It is well known that food has certain visual stimulant properties that help to make it more appealing depending on how it is prepared. So choosing to decorate your dessert plate in a sophisticated technique and using chocolate sauce and crushed pistachios can really make a big difference.


Add Additional Treats


One of the best ways to ensure that your dessert goes down well is to include additional treats as part of the main dessert. Think exotic fruit slices, rich crunchy biscuits and chocolate drops to really bring an added oomph to your presentation style.


Add Additional Treats to dessert
Surprise Your Guests Using Add-ons

If served in a glass, why not add a simple biscuit to add an extra dimension of texture to the dessert and it may bring out better qualities in your original recipe. With desserts, if it looks stunning, it often tastes stunning, so don’t hold back on creating a deliciously visual dessert extravaganza for your guests to enjoy!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From Puddings to Ice Cream – Our Favourite Desserts

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It’s no secret that dessert is the best part of any meal, but how can you choose between so many delicious options? The range of different types of desserts that can be found is nearly inexhaustible but today we’re going to give you a rundown of some of our favourites.


Cakes

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There are many different varieties of cakes, but the idea behind a cake is pretty much unanimously agreed upon – Cakes are sweet desserts that are usually baked. They can be simple or very elaborate depending on the recipe and construction. Cupcakes, tea cakes, chocolate cakes and fruit cakes, cakes are the dessert of choice for a formal dinner or celebration, be it Christmas, birthdays, weddings or anniversaries.




Puddings

One of the best types of desert, the concept of pudding creation doesn’t differ too much to cake – you combine ingredients with a binder such as cereal, flour, butter, eggs, and/or suet. The mark of the pudding is the way in which it is cooked - baked, boiled or steamed. Puddings are usually associated with Christmas but can actually be sweet and savoury – we like the sweet ones best!




Cookies and Biscuits 

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Cookies are some of the most versatile dessert foods. Originally starting off as being similar to cakes ‘cookie’ derives from the Dutch word ‘koekje’ which means ‘little cake’. Traditionally cookies were made by taking spoonfuls of cake batter and putting them in the oven test the temperature. Now the range of cookie types are endless from more traditional chocolate chips, to meringues, to toffee and almond bars.


Doughnuts

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Ring-shaped or filled, doughnuts are a delicious desert option. Whether they have fruit preserves, cream, custard or other sweet fillings, or are dusted with cinnamon or coated in sugar glaze, they are sure to be a crowd pleaser.





Frozen Desserts

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Ice cream, gelato, sorbet and popsicles all fall under this category. Usually ice cream consists of a dairy base that is frozen while being churned into a creamy consistency. Gelato also uses a milk base but introduces much less air to the mix than ice cream. Popsicles and sorbet should not have any dairy in them at all, popsicles traditionally being made by freezing a flavoured liquid (like fruit juice) around a sick and sorbet from crushed and churned fruit.



Pastries

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Another delicious favourite is Pastries. Flaky and buttery or made of unleavened dough, pastries rely on their high fat content for the scrumptious taste. Palmiers, croissants, pain au chocolat and Danishes are just a few examples of fabulous pastry treats. Usually pastries are served for morning or afternoon tea with fruit, chocolates, or other sweets.



Pies

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The simplicity of pies, tarts and cobblers should never be underrated. Consisting of a filling and a crust made pastry or crumbs, pies can be extremely versatile as well as delicious. The fillings are often seasonal fruit and a certain quantity of sugar, but nuts and custard are just some of the other ingredients pies can include.



True dessert lovers may have noticed that their favourite dessert is missing from this list. With so many types of desserts out there, cronuts, fritters, custards and cheesecake along with many, many more simply can’t be classified into any one category.

Here at Pud for All Seasons we love to cook and create and we are always trying out exciting new dessert recipes as well as perfecting traditional ones. Our delicious puddings might be just the ticket for your next celebration, get together or even just the perfect way to treat yourself after a big day.


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