Reviewed by Allison Bretherton
My Lockdown diet was going so well, until I was chosen to review a selection of Charlie Bigham’s Proper Puddings! But mustn’t grumble, as this was a most enjoyable reviewing task.
I must admit I had never heard of Charlie Bigham’s food products before, so I had to do a bit of research about the company. Charlie Bigham’s is a food company which has been in production since the 1990s, their aim being to create dishes which taste and look just like you have made them in your own kitchen. There is a huge range of savoury dishes, and they have recently started making puddings, too.
The company’s website is very informative, and gives detailed nutritional information on all their products as well as their ethical values.
So, on with the testing! The puddings are presented in little wooden trays, the food being inside a greaseproof liner. The trays are covered in clingfilm and finally, a cardboard sleeve which displays cooking instructions and nutritional details.
You put the wooden tray directly into your oven (but not near any actual flames or an element!) for about 20 minutes. (These puddings are not suitable for microwave cooking, you will just have to be patient!)
All of the puddings are “proper puddings” by which I mean that you couldn’t serve them sliced up as a cake, they need to be in bowl, and all of them will taste better alongside some ice cream, custard, vanilla yoghurt or crème fraiche.
Here is my verdict on the four puddings I sampled:
1. Cherry Bakewell pudding
Easy to prepare. Looks and smells like a home made pudding. Strong cherry taste, but not overpowering, lovely almondy tang. Cake topping is not too sweet, not too stodgy, slightly crisp on top. Just the right combination of fruit to sponge.
2. Sticky Ginger pudding
Lovely warm ginger taste, not too overpowering. Good texture to the sponge, not too soggy. Plenty of sticky sauce. This is very comforting pudding, would be perfect in Winter time.
3. Chocolate Fondant pudding.
If, like me, you have tried in vain to recreate one of those “melt in the middle” chocolate fondants from Masterchef, you can stop your efforts right now. This pudding is perfect. Not too bitter, not too sweet, follow the instructions exactly to get just the right flow of melted chocolate in the middle. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was the little pieces of Belgian chocolate scattered on the top, could have done without them.
4. Bread and Butter Pudding
I love a good bread and butter pudding, and this one is really, really good. Enough crispness on the top layer, plenty of moisture in the lower layers. Not too much egg or vanilla coming through in the taste, and just the right amount of fruit.
The product serving guide says “Serves 2-4”. I got 4 servings from each tray, which was just perfect for my gang. If you were a bit greedier, you could cut the pud into 3 pieces. Having half each would be plain gluttony!
We loved all the puddings we tried, and I would definitely buy them, especially in the Winter time, nothing nicer than a lovely stodgy pudding on a cold night.
Charlie Bigham’s Proper Puddings are available at Waitrose. Each tray costs £5.50. You might think that sounds pricey, but it works out around £1.38 per portion, for a dessert which tastes exactly like one you would make yourself at home. I think that’s pretty good value!
Price: £5.50 each
You can purchase these items from Waitrose in store or on their website here