October 1st, 2016

Plenty of puddings as Avoncroft gets festive

Updated: 5:12 pm, Nov 27, 2015

THE AVONCROFT Museum became a bustling hub of festive activity on Monday (November 24) when it hosted a Christmas pudding workshop with recipes which have tantalised Arab princes and the Queen of Denmark.

The workshop, with its techniques for making the ultimate regal Christmas pudding, was organised by Avoncroft’s Pete Gale and hosted by founder of The Pudding Shop, Don Bridges.

Residents were joined by Bromsgrove’s very own celebrity cook, Dr Anita Sharma-James who gave an Indian spin to the traditional Christmas pudding.

The group were introduced to ingredients such as plain flour, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetarian suet, dark brown sugar, sultanas, raisins, mixed peel, grated carrot, grated apple, orange juice, lemon zest, black treacle, Guinness and of course, brandy.

The workshop became an inspiring lesson in making Christmas puddings to suit different tastes and included ideas for vegan and gluten-free recipes.

Anita, an inspirational Indian cook, speaker, author and health advocate, demonstrated everything is possible with her unique approach to creating the definitive Indian Christmas pudding.

She said: “There’s a fascinating history behind the Christmas pudding and the spices which made it so unique.

“It stretches back to medieval times when spices were worth their weight in gold and popular amongst aristocrats.

“Spices were a symbol of wealth, the caviar of billionaires and at the height of fashion for those times because they were so out of reach.”

She added: “I thought I’d create my own Indian version of the Christmas pudding by using a combination of spices including ground ginger, cloves, cardamom and even some coriander, which I added to the usual ingredients.

“It’s been a fantastic experience today, I’ve really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to share my Indian Christmas pudding creation with the family.”

The Christmas puddings were prepared and then delivered to The Pudding Shop’s premises in Upton-upon-Severn where they will be steamed for seven hours and returned to their rightful owners.

Go to www.bromsgrovestandard.co.uk to see more photographs of the Avoncroft Christmas pudding workshop.