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madcatlady, inspired by the season and by a general appreciation for sweet things, hosted Pudmas this weekend, a evening of all desserts, all the time. Well - with crudités, crackers, cheese, sliced meat, and dips to leaven the saccharine.

  • A tender rice pudding was leavened with clementine segments and spiced with cardamon and nutmeg, I think.

  • A slice of firm chocolate rice crispy bar, topped with alcohol-soaked berries and topped with thick cream and grated chocolate had its sublime moments. The milk-chocolate flecked boozy berries with cream was superb. The rice crispy bar was overkill, a firm foundation on which the lighter elements rested. I had to carve out bites; fine on its own, but the rest was much better. (G)

  • Treacle pudding filled the kitchen with dense caramely sweetness. The pudding itself was respectable, done right, but with nothing more to raise it above solid competence.

  • Bananas Foster were all alcohol. The overwhelming brandy sauce was too much on its own, or even just with the bananas. A lavish dollop of mascarpone proved apt enough foil, but only in small sauce doses. (K)

  • The chocolate-and-cream layer cake was a more subtle confection than its immediate competition, and so my taste buds couldn't do it justice.

  • The mousse was richly chocolately. (D)

  • Trifle, with its pleasant underpinning of yielding soft fruits, was far too liquid to hold together.

  • Panettone bread pudding with brandy amaretto custard was excellent, the dried fruit leavening the custardy richness of the pudding. The brandy amaretto was handled with a light enough touch to complement the panettone's own flavors rather than overwhelming them.

I know I missed the first dessert of the evening, a vanilla soufflé, and the Eton mess promised for later in the evening. After my first game of Robo Rally - hilarious, fun, engaging, strategic, accidental - we left for the drive back down through starlight to the south.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
If you love chocolate, TasteTV.com meets Fritz Knipschildt, the hip founder of Knipschildt Chocolatier, at the New York Chocolate Show. Also, Laurie Gauguin shows us a few new Knipschildt sauces. You decide if it's your taste. It's interesting either way. Watch it here on TasteTV (http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid296742318/bclid301907361/bctid367269620)
Dec. 18th, 2006 09:33 am (UTC)
"The brandy was handled with a light enough touch to complement the panettone's own flavors rather than overwhelming them."

That's cos it was ameretto :-) Shameless quantities too! I agree, none of the puddings were up to restaurant standard; my own favoutes were Sarah's chocolate gateau, Derek's chocolatey moussy thing and (I blush to admit) my own pannetone pudding; then again, the idea was to make our own favourite desserts so it's no wonder really :-)

Come to the next one!
Dec. 18th, 2006 10:11 am (UTC)
This is why I should take notes as I go if I'm going to be writing things up. I didn't even know my compliments on the bread pudding were for my host, which makes 'em even better! The quantities may have been shameless, but the balance really did work.

I wasn't really complaining about the desserts you know. It was a fabulous idea and I was happy to eat every one of them. When people make food and I get to eat it, I'm grateful. I only wrote it up this way since you demanded itencouraged me!

If I'd known what the real mandate was, I would have tried harder myself! Shows how much attention I was paying...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )