It’s not often that I get to spend my Saturday in the kitchen with a winner of the Great British Bake Off, but that’s exactly what I got to do this weekend, thanks to Whitworths. Edd Kimber won the first bake off back in 2010 and this year he’s teamed up with Whitworths, those people who bring us all the fruit and nut ingredients that you use in your baking, to develop an alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding.
Now, I should start by saying that I love Christmas pudding and I was therefore intrigued to see what Edd had come up with, especially as he claimed not to like Christmas pudding himself, but what he has developed completely blew me away. Sticky toffee pudding has to be one of my favourite deserts of all time anyway, but it’s one of those things that I never really make at home, and shop bought ones never live up to my rather high expectations. Thanks to Edd I now have a recipe which is simple and delicious and I can definitely see myself making this in the future – and not just at Christmas time.
Edd’s Christmas Sticky Toffee pudding makes really good use of the Whitworth’s range, and the fact that their fruit and nuts come pre-prepared, and even pre-chopped in some cases, making them a complete doddle to use.
The main basis of the Christmas Sticky Toffee Pudding are dates, and you can get these pre-chopped making them so much easier to use as there’s none of that getting them stuck to the knife faff involved. As soon as we started reducing these into a paste on the hob with water and rum the whole kitchen was filled with the most delicious Christmassy smells and I think we all started feeling rather seasonal.
The pudding also contains sultanas, apricots and the slightly unusual crystallised ginger. I love ginger like this and would happily munch on it as a snack (so as it seems would Edd) but I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Please do try it though as its fiery flavour really adds a certain something to these puddings and I think they would be a bit flat without it.
With all the ingredients combined you’re ready to pop the mixture into the greased dariole moulds and you want to fill these no more than two thirds full as the mixture will rise whilst baking. I should also add that we used disposable moulds as we were taking our puddings home with us afterwards, but reusable ones are so much easier to get the puddings out of at the end.
This sticky toffee pudding differs from a traditional Christmas pudding as rather then steam it you actually just cook them in the oven for 20 minutes. Once baked you can actually then just freeze them and defrost and reheat them on the big day.
Whilst our puddings were in the oven we make the butterscotch sauce to go with them. This was where Edd suggested a slight tweak to the recipe, one which gave it even more of a Christmas kick – the addition of rum to the butter, sugar, salt and double cream. Once again the smell in the kitchen was divine!
Edd finished his pudding off with the addition of some praline, using the Whitworth’s mixed nuts. Seeing as Mr C has a deadly allergy to peanuts I omitted this part but I did have a good chat with a woman who works for Whitworth’s about cross contamination and I was delighted to hear that Whitworths have separate factories and packing lines for their nut and fruit products meaning that cross contamination isn’t a problem and that peanut and nut allergy sufferers like my husband can use their baking fruit ranges without problems. To me this is a huge positive as I’ve really struggled recently with buying baking ingredients from some supermarkets as everything says it may contain traces of nuts and peanuts. Full marks to Whitworths for this as it makes a huge difference to my life and shopping and baking habits!
The overall result was absolutely delicious. The pudding itself was gorgeous – chewy and flavoursome with an added kick from the ginger. The butterscotch sauce partnered it perfectly, and the added rum made it taste very festive. I did have to laugh though when Edd seemed disappointed that a group of bloggers had managed to “only” use a bottle and a half of rum. No idea what sort of reputation we must have in his eyes!
I love this photo – it just sums up bloggers so perfectly!
So, huge thanks to Whitworths for producing a range of baking fruit that is not only delicious, but also perfectly safe for my peanut allergy suffering husband to eat. Thanks to Edd for being one of the nicest men I’ve ever met (that should be obvious – he’s from Yorkshire after all!) and for helping me and all the other bloggers to make a brilliant Christmas pudding and for coming up with the recipe in the first place. I’m off to make sure there’s enough rum in the booze cabinet for us to make some more at Christmas time!
The full Christmas Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe is available here.
Disclaimer: I was invited along to this baking masterclass with Edd Kimber by Whitworths. I was given no financial compensation for doing so or for writing about this. All view and options are my own. This post contains an affiliate link – I need to save up to buy some more rum for Christmas!