The perfect Christmas pudding

Looking for the perfect Christmas pudding? One that will set tastebuds a’tingling and mouths a’watering? How about one that will add a little glitter to your Christmas table?

Well, according to CHOICE, the pudding to place on your table this year is a newcomer to (what this writer learnt was) the competitive field of festive desserts.

For years, the Coles Finest Luxury Pudding has been the gold standard (pardon the pun, you’ll get it in a minute) for splashy sweets. While the pudding alone – infused with French brandy and topped with cherries and Valencian oranges – is glitzy enough, the satchel of sugared gold glitter you sprinkle over the pudding once it’s heated and ready to serve sends it over the top. A pretentious pud, one might say.

But the Coles Finest Luxury Pudding has been knocked off its perch this year by Aldi’s Luxury Golden Champagne Pudding, no less flamboyant and all the more delicious.

The Aldi entrant is soaked in its own budget yet award-winning Veuve Monsigny Brut Champagne, also topped with cherries, and also with gold glitter for that touch of magic.

coles and aldi christmas puddings

Aldi was crowned by CHOICE as the premier pudding for 2019. CHOICE blind tasted and rated 13 Christmas puddings to find the perfect pud.

Puddings under the microscope ranged from high end to budget and were judged on:

  • shape
  • weight
  • balance of spice, fruit and alcohol flavours
  • whether there was an even distribution of good-quality fruit ingredients
  • whether they held their shape or collapsed when cut (because no one wants an unidentified mess on the table once the first person takes their slice).

CHOICE’s expert score consisted of appearance/quality of finish (25 per cent), flavour and aroma (40 per cent), texture/baked quality (20 per cent) and mixture quality (15 per cent).

The Aldi pudding came out on top, scoring 89 per cent, with the Coles pud scoring 72 per cent.

“The Aldi pud is a bit of glitz, a bit of fun. It’s a nice, rich, fruit pudding without being sticky and it’s not overly sweet, which I found the Coles one to be,” said CHOICE tester and food consultant Brigid Treloar.  

“It’s great value considering the generous fruit topping and it looks a bit special on the table – an easy Christmas centrepiece at a time when things can get quite busy and expensive, and all you have to do is whack it in the microwave to heat it up.”

CHOICE notes: “Although it’s arguable that there’s nothing better than a homemade Christmas pudding (you can’t beat that dose of love and attention that goes into baking your own, after all), our experts noted that buying all the ingredients yourself, including the alcohol if that’s your cup of tea, can be quite expensive. Not to mention the time required to bake and ‘feed’ your pud with booze in the weeks leading up to Christmas to keep it moist and flavourful.” 

CHOICE expert and CWA judge Alison Mutton said the answer for a time-starved host could be the Aldi option

“If you don’t have time to do a complicated Christmas dessert, this is a good option. I ate absolutely everything that was on my plate,” she said.

What’s your idea of the perfect pudding? Do you make your own? Do you even like Christmas pudding? Which festive dessert do you prefer?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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