Love it or hate it the chances are a Christmas Pudding will be making an appearance on your festive table. I was intrigued to try a Bunty's Christmas pudding created to win over the haters amongst you. The hand-made Waveney Valley pudding arrived so beautifully presented it was a shame to cut off the ribbons and bows from the muslin wrapped Mason Cash bowl. Steamed for one and half hours according to the instructions, the waft of fruit and spice was noticable when I cut the string and removed the paper to turn it out.The texture was quite different from any pudding I've tried before; soft and light without the whole fruits and crumbly texture of a traditional pud but a rich and dark colour, yet not stodgy. The balance of fruit and alcohol is excellent, with more than a hint of prune and raisins enhanced with Pedro Ximenez sherry. In fact this is a pudding where you might possibly manage seconds. Check out Bunty's website to find your local stockist.
Stephany Hardingham, from Alder Tree Ice Cream has created a delicious Christmas Pudding Ice Cream. Made at Alder Carr Farm in Creeting St Mary the artisan-made dessert is a treat for the grown ups, who will enjoy the taste sensation of Christmas pudding without the heaviness of the traditional pudding. The cinnamon infused ice cream also has a good dash of brandy - perfect on top of your mince pies!
Suffolk-based wine educator Neil Courtier of Grape Sense gives us his Christmas and New Year favourites for the festive table below. Neil runs wine-tasting workshops and has one coming up on Saturday morning 26th January 2013 at the Active Business Centre in Bury, called 'An Introduction to Wine Tasting'. This would be a great birthday present for me but unfortunately I am going to be in the Caribbean (says suffolkfoodie in a sad voice...) Call him on 01359 270318 or contact him here through his website.
Domaine Vincent Dampt - Chablis 2011 Burgundy – France - £ 12.55 (here you will get a 10% discount if you mention Grapesense) Corney & Barrow – Newmarket – Vincent Dampt is a rising star in Burgundy, check out this classic, steely, mineral enhanced Chablis, that’s beautifully balanced, by a touch of buttery richness & pin-point acidity. Try with smoked trout, roast turkey (with a white wine gravy), or guinea fowl.
Jul. Ferd Kimich – Gewürztraminer – Spätlese 2010 Pfalz – Germany - £ 12.99 Peatling's - Bury St Edmunds - A fruit-inspired Gewürztraminer, that's beautifully focused. A degree of natural sweetness (only a tad) makes this a perfect companion with a smooth duck-based pâté.
Jim Barry - The Lodge Hill – Shiraz 2010 Clare Valley – Australia - £ 12.49 / buy 2 bottles £ 9.99 – Majestic – Should you decide to enjoy a prime-joint of British beef this Christmas, tuck into this blackberry-soaked Shiraz, with notes of eucalyptus & liquorice. Full-bodied, yet it has ‘sweet’ tannins & total integration.
Domaine Michel Lafarge - Bourgogne – Pinot Noir 2009 Burgundy – France - £ 13.99 (again with a 10% discount for Grapesense) Corney & Barrow – Newmarket – From a great Domaine in Volnay, a cherry-scented Pinot, ripe, rounded & accessible, with food-matching potential too – a great match with pheasant, or venison casserole.
Champagne – Les Pionniers – Vintage 2004 - £ 25.99 / £ 22.99 (until 1st January 2013 ) Co-Operative – Toasty, complex Champagne, with notes of maturity – baked lemon, a trace of honey & a nutty finish. Great vale & should accompany smoked salmon to a tee!
Vistamar - Late Harvest - Moscatel 2012 Limari Valley – Chile - £ 6.24 / buy 2 bottles = £ 4.99 per ½ bottle – Majestic – Snap-up this peach, honey, lemon & grapey Moscatel, which has attractive acidity to underpin the sweetness. Yummy!