Tom Aikens wins Slow Food UK Christmas pudding challenge

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th December 2014
Tom Aikens with puddingsSlow Food UK have that announced that the winner of their UK’s tastiest Christmas Pudding challenge is Tom Aikens. The competition was open to chefs and the public, who were encouraged to bake two puddings; one for tasting and one to give to the homeless at charity Centrepoint this Christmas. Tom’s winning pudding was described as ‘astoundingly fruity, well spiced and rich'. The puddings were all blind tasted, and awarded points for taste, texture, aroma and appearance by multi-award winning food writer Henrietta Green, recipient of the BBC Food Program Campaigner of the Year award. In second place was chef, food writer and broadcaster, Paula McIntyre from Northern Ireland, whose pudding was ‘rich alcoholic and fruity, with good spicing’, and third Haymerle Primary School, Peckham with ‘an exceptionally good classic pudding’. The search, started in London before spreading through the UK, had entries from a number of Slow Food UK Chef Alliance members including Tom Cockerill, Nigel Haworth, Frances Atkins, Gareth Johns, Paula McIntire, Vivek Singh, Neil Forbes, Tom Aikens, Alessandro Grano, Philip Howard, Marcello Tully & Nick Gillespie.Slow Food Featured image Leading hotels such as The Rosewood and The Connaught and stores such as La Fromagerie and Marks and Spencer also entered, as did the public with their own traditional recipes, and numerous schools and community groups. The puddings were varied in flavour, and used regional ingredients such as Dexter Suet, Stilton, Northern Irish Ale, and West Country Cider as flavourings. Slow Food also highlighted regional nuances with their own recipe: cider in the south west, bitter in the Black Country, brown ale in the north, whisky in Scotland as well as citrus fruits in east Scotland, apple in Suffolk and prunes in Shropshire. Want to try Tom’s winning pudding for yourself? Here’s the recipe: PuddingSERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 90g Brioche crumbs 90g Sultanas 130g Veg suet 45g Prunes dried 120g Dark Muscavado Sugar 55g Carrots, grated 40g Self Raising Flour 20g Mixed Peel 2.5g baking powder 40g Glazed Cherries 2g Spice all spice 70g Guinness 1.5g Spice cinnamon 30ml Dark Rum 2g Spice Ginger powder 30g Brandy 2g Spice Nutmeg 2 Eggs, whole 3g Sea Salt 35g Treacle 70g Dried Currants 20g Orange juice 110g Raisins 20g Ground Almonds 2 Orange zest 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled METHOD 1. Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for 2 days mixing every 12 hours. 2. Pour into a greased pudding mould and cover with a lid and steam at 130°C for 2.5 hours. 3. Once cooked, either eat immediately or cool to re-heat later.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th December 2014

Tom Aikens wins Slow Food UK Christmas pudding challenge