Can chocolate work in this Michelin star special edition Christmas pudding? Claire Smith takes the taste test.
The thing about Christmas pudding, in my humble opinion, is that it is usually too dense, too rich, too gloopy and too heavy. Especially at the time of the year when our stomach’s are full to capacity as it is. But I opened my mind and my not-yet-too-full tummy to the delightful pint-sized efforts from an award-winning Yorkshire baker, Thomas the Baker.
I tried the family baker’s take on the classic Christmas pudding recipe, which has taken a 70-year-old perfected formula and dressed it with a Michelin-starred flavour, thanks to Yorkshire chef Jeff Baker. With a generous helping of Saltaire Brewery’s Triple Chocolate Stout and a dose of Belgian chocolate chips, Jeff has created a smooth and delicious creation.
Thomas the Baker has well and truly changed my mind. With a dash of cream over my pudding, I was completely converted. The addition of the chocolate from both the chips and West Yorkshire stout took the edge off the bitterness found in traditional Christmas puddings and, rather than adding to its richness, it reduced it, making a portion far more manageable and enjoyable.
The special edition puddings are moist, chewy and sticky in the right amount, and remained an aromatic delicacy without the heaviness of the usual fare. For people wondering if chocolate has any place in Christmas pudding, be rest assured that it is so subtle you’d miss it if you didn’t know any better. It is, instead, the effects of the chocolate malts, cocoa and chocolate essence in the beer and high-cocoa nibs that you can taste. I would definitely recommend treating yourself to a local gold star Christmas pud with chocolate this year.
You can get your hands on the Thomas the Baker Saltaire Triple Chocolate Stout Christmas Pudding from one of the baker’s 37 shops across Yorkshire or online at www.thomasthebaker.co.uk