Today, revered institution and royal grocers Fortnum & Mason is welcoming the five finalists for the live baking finals in its Piccadilly store. It’s their chance to present their creation to a high-profile panel of judges chaired by legend Dame Mary Berry, and including the likes of Buckingham Palace's very own head chef Mark Flanagan LVO or celebrity chef Monica Galetti (Mere).
According to the rules, “a good pudding should be joyful and celebratory, and make people smile”. A dessert both fit for a Queen and easy enough for everyone to replicate at home is what they’re looking for.
The winner will be announced at a later date, so to get you in that sweet mood until then, we’ve rounded up five of our favourite British pudding recipes with a French touch. Time to get baking!
The cheeky sponge: Martinique rum baba
Ever tried “baba au rhum”? It might look like an innocent sponge, but it is generously soaked in fragrant rum from Martinique island, in the French West Indies. The ultimate pudding-meets-nightcap experiences, for a one-way ticket to paradise.
The traditional ally: Agen prunes sticky toffee pudding
It’s still chilly outside, you’re sitting by the fire, after feasting on a gorgeous Sunday roast with your friends. Now is time for a sweet treat! Look no further, this gooey, overindulgent sticky toffee pudding is just what the doctor ordered, with rich Agen prunes for extra deliciousness.
The brunch favourite: Banana and pecan nuts “Pain perdu”
Nothing beats “pain perdu” for a lazy weekend brunch, a magical way to make sure none of that leftover stale bread goes to waste! Gently soaked in a milk, egg and Tahitian vanilla mixture, this “lost bread”can only be saved by sizzling French butter in a pan. Top it with banana slices and a few pecan nuts for extra crunch, and voilà !
The comforting one: Rice pudding with Tahitian vanilla
We can all agree rice pudding is the ultimate warm and creamy hug. But when it meets aromatic Tahitian vanilla and Guadeloupe cane sugar, it’s pure comfort by the spoonful coming your way.
The quintessentially British one: Red berries jelly with Languedoc wine
Studio Sucré Salé
It doesn’t get more British than jelly, does it? But you know us by now, we always make sure there’s a French touch in every recipe. So in this “aspic” — the elegant word for jelly — recipe, all the credit goes to the fragrant white wine from the Languedoc region in Southern France.