CHRISTMAS COMFORT AND JOY
Michele Chandler’s Plum Pudding–Fit for a King
I remember childhood Christmases in New England. Snowflakes in my face and angels in the snow. The forever waiting for all good things like Santa’s presents and the huge turkey dinner with family and friends. I waited patiently- well not so patiently, really, for dessert. I knew what it would be and it only came once a year. It was Christmas pudding with the brandy flames dancing around the platter. The flames warmed the spicy cake with the sweet, rich fruit wrapped inside. I used to let the soft parts melt and the chewy parts linger. That way I could make each mouthful last that much longer.
Now my long ago experiences live again. My friend, Michele Chandler, has created a plum pudding fit for a king. In fact her creation is called the King George pudding, celebrating the comfort and joy of this tradition which began as Christmas dessert in the court of this English monarch in the 1700’s. Ms. Chandler’s plum pudding is one pound of pure heaven containing many dried and candied fruits including figs, raisins, mangoes cherries and apricots. Fully one quarter of the dessert is fruit, making it much softer and moister than its cousin, the fruit cake.
The rituals which surround plum pudding add to the anticipation. Traditionally, plum pudding is prepared months before the Holidays. Brandy or other liquor is poured over the dessert to steep and blend the flavours. Then it is gently steamed before serving to enhance its aromatic charm. The flambe presentation adds to the drama. The warm pudding is served with hard sauce, a flavoured, fluffy butter-sugar topping which gently melts over the tender pudding. Fit for a king, indeed!
The King George plum pudding has been a long time in the making. Ms. Chandler, who has a history in hospitality and food service, took years to perfect her creation. Starting with her British tradition, she prepared plum pudding as a favourite activity for family and friends. She has grown her talents into a successful company, The Art of Pudding. Michele has been unrelenting in her search for the best ingredients, recipe and preparation. The result is a unique dessert which tempts us all. This season she anticipates sales of over 4000 puddings.
Ms. Chandler’s pudding is now retailed through a number of speciality shops in the greater Toronto area as well as upstate New York and New England. With its attractive packaging, the pudding makes a great hostess gift and travels well to send some Christmas cheer to distant family and friends. The King George pudding may also be purchased on line. Visit www.theartofpudding.com for more information.
We only celebrate the Christmas holidays once a year. This year why not celebrate an old tradition or start a new one? Own and experience the King George pudding. Add some comfort and joy to your holiday meal.
Food scientist and Marketer
Writing about Food Happenings