WHAT’S FOR PUDDING?

My days of paleo were short lived.  I’ll give Mrs S this one happily.  What with chocolate hanging around everywhere and the abundance of recipe experimentation going on in my kitchen preparing for Christmas, I’ll confess; I’ve well and truly succumbed to my sugar addiction.  I don’t mind telling you that at Christmas time I am the metaphorical happy fat kid eating the cake.

During my childhood dinnertime was a daily tradition.  We would sit down as a family and eat our meals around the dining table.  This continued on well into my teens and whilst many of my “cool” mates were hanging around outside the chicken shop, I’d be gladly sitting around that dining table chowing down on every morsel.  Because in our house eating all your dinner was rewarded with pudding.

For those of you lucky enough to have experienced pudding in the 90s, here’s some nostalgia for you.  Who remembers Viennetta, choc ices, Neopolitan ice cream bars, artic roll, Aunt Bessie’s spotted dick, rice pudding or the teddy bear sundae from the Beefeater??

The wonderful world of puddings however can be a complicated topic given the history of how they came about.  Pudding isn’t just a word to describe the sugary frozen treat that my family used back in the 90s to describe the meal following my turkey dinosaurs, in fact the word is derived from the Latin term for “sausage”.

All of the first recorded pudding recipes are savoury recipes and many are still around today. They were devised as another way to preserve meat without the need to smoke or salt it and although they would often contain sugar and dried fruits they were definitely not what we now know as a dessert.

The history of Blighty and pud is fascinating and I’m starting to understand why we often confuse our American cousins with our culinary terminology.  Most yanks associated the word pudding with a creamy wobbly dessert dish.  We, on the other hand seem to use it for all kinds of dishes.

Here is the Shack’s Guide to the best puddings ever invented:

BLACK PUDDING

Blood pudding is recorded as one of the oldest forms of sausage and the recipe is centuries old.  Blood does not keep unless prepared in some way following the slaughtering of an animal.  This tasty little treat is a damn sure genius way of ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

Most traditional recipes involve stirring the fresh blood with fat, rusk, and seasoning, then filling the mixture into a casing and boiling it.  A few years ago black pudding hit the headlines being hailed as a superfood as it is packed with protein, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.  It’s no wonder my muscles are so big.

HAGGIS

Much like Black Pudding the description of the ingredients used to make Haggis will not appeal to the squeamish or the faint at heart, but is definitely a case of “don’t knock it til you’ve tried it”.  Made from the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep which is then minced with onion, oats, suet and spices the traditional Haggis is then encased in the stomach lining of the sheep before being boiled for about three hours.  I agree that sounds absolutely disgusting but that couldn’t be any further from the truth.  Haggis done right is a tasty, nutty, comforting delight.

Interesting factoid; imports of black pudding and Haggis are banned from the United States due to the ingredients used being on the naughty list.  They don’t know what they’re missing out on.

YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS

Originally known as Dripping Pudding, Yorkshire Puddings have been cooked in England for centuries, although today’s versions are lighter and puffier than that of our ancestors.  I truly believe the Yorkshire pudding is a thing of wonder, how the cheapest and simplest of ingredients will produce the tastiest of roast dinner staples covered in tonnes of thick, meaty gravy.

Some time ago we did a lot of research and testing to get the tastiest, puffiest Yorkshire pudding.  We found that there is an art and science to the recipe, it’s definitely not a case of guessing the ingredients, throwing them in the oven and hoping for the best.  Plus, the pressure is on, The Royal Society of Chemistry suggested in 2008 that “A Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall”.  With that in mind you’d best check out our CROWD PLEASING YORKSHIRE PUDDING recipe for a step by step guide to the perfectly risen pud.

THE PUD TAKES CENTRE STAGE

CHRISTMAS PUDDING

I know nothing of making Christmas pudding, only of the eating of Christmas pudding which I gratefully receive every year from a good pal of mine Scott.  Scott is a self confessed kitchen nightmare and he can’t cook for shit.  But he can make a damn good Christmas pudding.

SCOTT DUCKETT - A MODEST MAN

Upholding his family tradition, his nan used to make the pudding for Christmas Day and the year when she declared that she could no longer manage it, Scott was quick to step up to the plate and has now created his own family tradition with his daughter.

The original Christmas pudding recipe, long before Scott started dabbling in it, contained meat and fruits.  It wasn’t until 1714 when King George I declared that it would be eaten at his Christmas feast and would contain no meat.  Known also as Plum Pudding, Figgy Pudding or Christmas Pudding, there are various sweet versions which adorn the modern Christmas table post turkey blow out.

Scott begins his puddings in October when he mixes the ingredients and distributes into numerous bowls ready for the next day when they steamed for 6 to 8 hours.  Then he “feeds” the puddings every fortnight with alcohol until they are heated, turned out and set ablaze on Christmas day.

You can hear all about Scott, his personal journey and his outlook on life on his podcast, THE EVOLUTION OF ME.

BACK TO PUDDING

As in, ALL THINGS SWEET.  Nothing quite like a sugary sweetie to finish your meal.  The sweeter the better.  Things have most definitely evolved since the days of the frozen artic roll and I for one am glad.

For Christmas, we have put together some amazing sweet treats to enjoy after your Christmas dinner and all are deliberately easy and fun to make.  We’ll even be giving some away as edible gifts to our love ones.

Happy Holidays y’all!

Mr and Mrs Shack x

CHOCOLATE CHIP SKILLET COOKIE WITH MOOSE MAPLE WHISKY BUTTERCREAM

SCOTTIE’S BIS-COFFEE FUDGE SQUARES

WICKED WHITE CHOCOLATE FUDGE WITH COCONUT

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