Inside the box

I recently mentioned a box of goodies I received as a Christmas present, and said I would report on the contents when I’d tasted them.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve now tasted 4 of the 5 items in the box, as follows.

The Plum Pudding:

Wine Society Plum Pudding

Plum pudding ready to eat

I like a nice fruity plum, or Christmas, pudding, and this one was particularly well endowed with fruit. In fact, the first thing on the list of ingredients was mixed dried vine fruits, at a lovely big 33%.

Plum pud stuffed with fruits and a heady dash of brandy

I haven’t got the packaging any more so I can’t check, but I do remember that brown sugar came quite low down on the list of ingredients. The pud was stuffed with sultanas, raisins, apricots, cherries, nuts and brandy, all of which were present in larger quantities than the sugar.

The pudding was duly heated up and dished out, steaming, into plates for me and my two most delightful assistants.

All sorts of things can accompany plum pudding, such as brandy sauce or ice cream, but I think the pick of all accompaniments is single pouring cream:

Plum pud doused with cream

A little snowy mountain of pudding

Unfortunately, technology doesn’t yet allow pictures on the screen to be tasted, but I can assure you that this plum pudding was a first class specimen. Fruity, nutty, boozy and extremely rich and delicious.

You might think that after such a pudding one ought to have had one’s cravings for sweet rich foods satisfied.

What, though, if you had a packet of shortbread biscuits and a box of jelly babies that had been neighbours to the pudding in the Christmas box looking as if they, too, yearned to be tasted?

Shortie and jelly babies

A pot of Afternoon Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea (that also came in the Christmas box) was made, and the biscuits and babies laid out for contemplation.

Being a bit of a stickler for my preferred biscuit texture, I’m sometimes a little nervous when it comes to shortbread.

When I took these shortbread biscuits out of the pack they stuck together a bit, which caused anxious furrows to appear on my brow.

However, I needn’t have feared, for the dampness did not in any way impair the flavour or, indeed, texture of the bite. I wonder now if in fact the dampness was there simply as a reminder to me that dunking was called for.

Diving in for the dunk

Dunked shortie

To my mind, a biscuit successfully dunked (i.e. almost saturated with liquid and withdrawn just in time to avoid slippage into the bottom of the cup), is a biscuit that has attained the highest possible achievement in the biscuit world.

The biscuit packaging stated that the contents were duty bound to be dunked. I’m delighted to report that they performed with aplomb.


Feeling I was on an unbeatable winning streak, I didn’t stop at biscuits.

Baby on the brink

Baby diving head first into tea

The babies, unlike the biscuits, didn’t mop up liquid, but they did melt very slightly and glistened with tea when brought out of the cup.

On the whole, I take my jelly babies dry, but on this occasion the tea-coated baby was a very pleasant departure from the norm.

The only thing remaining for me to try from my Christmas box is the Christmas cake, and I’m saving it for its own little post.

Simply Delicious hand made Christmas cake


40 thoughts on “Inside the box

  1. I can’t say that I’ve ever tasted a proper plum pudding, but your photos and boozy descriptions are giving me a hankering to try one. I am a big shortbread fan, however, and I’m glad to see that you put those boys to work straight away. Clever of you to save that lovely parcel for the quiet midwinter–and I’m happy that you were the recipient of such delightful and tea-worthy confections.

    • Thanks Robin, perhaps plum pudding’s a British thing, is it? That shortbread was excellent, it’s always a joy when a biscuit exceeds expectations. I’m glad I saved the parcel till now, I’m really enjoying it.

  2. What a delicious report! The pudding looks gorgeous, and so does the shortbread. I love the fact that the shortbread caused “anxious furrows” to appear on your brow; and this is superb: “… a biscuit successfully dunked… is a biscuit that has attained the highest possible achievement in the biscuit world.” Thank you for making me laugh! PS: I’m not sure you should be dunking jelly babies without their parents’ consent!

    • Thank you Jo, it really was all wonderfully tasty. Very kind of you to be so appreciative, biscuits are something very close to my heart. I hadn’t thought about seeking parental consent for dunking jelly babies, I feel quite guilty now.

    • I hope you can taste one some day Marian, a good plum pudding is a real delight. They do vary quite a bit but this one had a very high fruit content, which is ideal. I had a quick squiz on Wikipedia and discovered that the plum pudding dates back to Medieval England. I had wondered why it was called plum pudding, since there are no plums in it, and now I discover that ‘plums’ were what they called raisins in pre-Victorian times.

  3. All looks very yummy and I didn’t dare show these pictures to my dear hubby as he would have been drooling. He also believes a biscuit should be dunk worthy.

  4. how absolutely divine, Lorna … all of it! love the pictures and the yummy descriptions have made me oh so hungry. i laughed when i saw that you were dunking the jelly babies too … i appreciate your sense of adventure and fun. the cream on the pudding … so amazing.

    • Thank you Alison, there’s nothing like a bit of comfort food in the winter, is there? I try not to eat too much sweet stuff, or at least I try to balance it with a decent amount of savoury, but this cold weather makes me crave things like plum pud and sweets. You can dunk virtually anything in a cup of tea.

    • We need something to cheer us up surrounded by all this snow and cold wind in the northern hemisphere just now, Alice, but even without that it’s nice to let the festive flavours linger on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Oh Lorna! I don’t think I could dunk shortbread. It is too lovely to dunk in tea.
    I am envious of the Christmas pudding you had. It sounds delicious. I must admit I would only have cream with mine too, everything else would just be too too much.

    • It was very lovely buttery shortbread, and nearly as nice undunked as dunked. ๐Ÿ™‚ A good Christmas pud is a delight to the senses, and all creamed up it made for a most satisfactory eating experience. It seems a shame that we only have it at Christmas, but then of course there is clootie dumpling, which isn’t a million miles away from a plum pud.

    • The cream does make it, although it’s pretty special even before additions. So packed with fruits and nuts, probably not terribly healthy due to some of the other ingredients, but definitely filled to the brim with goodies.

  6. Hi Lorna!
    Thanks for your speedy comment on my very-sporadic-these-days blog. This post made me drool too! There is nothing better than that dunkable kind of shortbread. And you crack me up, dunking the Jelly Babies!

  7. The plum pudding looks really good! We make a Christmas pudding every year and our favorite topping is hard sauce ๐Ÿ™‚ We even made an emergency trip out for confectioner’s sugar on Christmas this year when we realized we didn’t have enough!

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