Christmas Puddings are another traditional dessert I never give a second glance to. We never really did dessert on Christmas Day growing up, with the exception of my sister (who always gets about 30 boxes of Jaffa Cakes for Christmas!) we prefer the savoury and even she can't help going back for more of my dads famous mashed potatoes. By the time our standard Boxing Day buffet is rolled out, give me any of the chocolate options over the quite ugly looking Christmas puddings any day!
I'm being brave this year though remember, and bought 4 individual servings from Aldi; 2 Whisky and 2 Brandy infused.
Plump vine fruits, crunchy almonds and cherries are blended with candied citrus peel and mixed spice and steeped in either whisky or brandy to make classic, festive Christmas puddings.
When it comes to booze, if it's pink or fizzy I'll drink it. I'm quite partial to a vodka too but I've never enjoyed Whisky so the fact this pudding stank of it was concerning to me. The puddings were easy enough to prepare: pierce holes in the film lid and microwave for 40 seconds. Removing them from the plastic packaging was impossible. First of all the little tab on the film ripped off so I ended up just cutting it with a knife around the inside of the rim and then I couldn't remove them from the pot for love nor money.
It's very thick and sticky and immediately I could taste the whisky I could smell. Whisky isn't the only alcohol in here, it actually contains a fair bit more cider, an equal amount of sherry and just a little less brandy and rum. I didn't know this at the time I ate it and I could only taste the whisky, I'd be interested to see if the others would be noticable once I knew. The vine fruits used are raisins and sultanas, they are the most abundant ingredient and that was clear in the taste. Juicy and sweet, very pleasant and a nice contrast to the stronger alcohol taste. It didn't have enough of the mixed spices for me, I could taste them but my preference is for strong, clear spices. I'm sure it's enough for some but just lacked a little for me.
I was looking forward to the glacé cherries (5%) and almonds (2.5%) but what I got was glacé cherries (0%) and almonds (0.1%). The glacé cherry God must hate me, after all in my Christmas fudge I had one and I had none at all in my Christmas pudding! As for almonds I had one teeny, tiny nut at the very bottom and while it was lovely and crunchy against the thick pudding, I could really have done with a few more.
The pudding wasn't dry at all, infact it was extremely sticky and moist but it needed something 'wet' to go with it - cream, custard, ice cream, brandy butter. Anything. It was just too kind of claggy alone. And I would have poured something on top had it not been for the stupid plastic packaging, instead I was left with a sticky mouth and the lingering aftertaste of whisky. Boo you Aldi, it could have been good!
Well if the Whisky flavoured was virtually impossible to remove, this was literally. I didn't pull the tab off this time but that's only because there wasn't one! So back out came the sharp knife and that again is the reason you're looking at a pointless photo of some dark goo in a plastic pot.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. To heat the puddings you have to pierce the film, I did so and felt as if I'd cracked open an actual bottle of brandy! Jesus, this has a strong alcohol smell, if I'd sniffed much harder, I'm sure I'd have been over the limit.
I took a mouthful and decided I preferred this one immediately. Almonds - nice, crunchy quite large ones straight from the start. Then I got to the actual pudding. It tasted as strong as it smelt, I know Christmas puddings traditionally contain some sort of alcohol but if I wanted to get drunk I'd have (happily) cracked on with the wine. It wasn't as fruity or sweet as the Whisky - well, it might have been but me and Mr.1T just couldn't get past the Brandy flavour.
Speaking of which, I knew before trying this one that it contained the same mix of different alcohols yet somehow it still only tasted of Brandy, and quite a harsh one at that.
It was just as thick feeling but it was moister than the Whisky and not as claggy feeling but it still needed something with it - not a Brandy Sauce though, I'd more than filled my Brandy quota with the pudding alone - but again thanks to the poor packaging I sadly ate my Christmas pudding dry.
And guess what I found at the bottom? One glacé cherry.