The British enjoyed a long-standing love affair with the classic pod, from the earliest recorded examples of the seventeenth century (French travel writer Henri Maison de Valbourg remarked: “Ah, what a fine thing is English pudding!”), to the nation sitting as one watching the bakers They struggle to perfect the Sussex pudding on The Great British Bake Off.
Warm, comforting pudding appears regularly in British literature, from the festive plum pudding in A Christmas Carol, which Mrs. Crutcht proudly brought to the table “like a ball spotted,” to Mrs. Weasley conjuring the sticky molasses pudding in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. .
Perhaps not surprisingly, they’ve become a staple: steaming and irresistible comfort, it’s an absolutely delicious way to take shelter, treat yourself, and stave off the chill of the colder months. However, despite hundreds of years of culinary advances, making traditional pudding from scratch can still be a waste of time — which is why Charlie Bigham created his own batch of convenient puddings.
“We first tried the desserts about 15 years ago, but we didn’t give them enough attention,” says Charlie Bigham, whose company bears his name. “We started making desserts right about two and a half years ago. We played with ideas, and now we have a very nice selection, including sticky toffee, bramley apples and melted chocolate.”
Bigham was inspired to start making sweets by clients who felt something was missing from his collection. Dessert lovers wrote asking him to use his magic touch to conjure up the perfect follow-up to his mouthwatering tubes. Comments like: “Why don’t you make desserts? It would save me a lot of time,” he persuaded Begum to head into the kitchen, and turn his attention to hearty favorites—pods that take a home baker several hours, and plenty of laundry, to make themselves.
The result is Charlie Bigham’s Proper Puds, which have already won Great Taste Awards. Handcrafted in small batches in the company’s custom bakery, this classic British dessert is ready to be baked in the oven at home and served in less than 30 minutes, and there’s something in the range to tempt everyone at the table.
Fans of cooking shows will be familiar with the disappointment of chocolate pudding that doesn’t reach its molten center, but there’s no need for that moment when you’re on the edge of your seat when you sink your spoon into one of Charlie Bigham’s molten chocolate pudding bowls. Available in a 2-pack, they make a sticky concentrate every time – and they taste great with vanilla ice cream.
Bigham’s baked cherry pudding comes as a larger bowl to share, or as two singles, and offers a delicious twist on the traditional tart. “Everyone was surprised we didn’t go with muffins, but we were making dessert,” Bigham says. “I thought with some nice cherries and almonds, it could be great, so we decided to give it a try. I now think it’s our best selling candy.”
Made with harvested seasonal cherries at their best, the pudding features sweet cherry compote, a frangipan sponge from Madagascar vanilla almonds, and blanched almonds. “It’s just gorgeous color and richness—delicious,” says Bigham, who recommends serving this pod with a little fresh cream on the side.
And of course, no dessert collection would be complete without a Bramley apple pie to tempt our taste buds. “The Bramley apple is the perfect apple for pudding,” Bigham says. “So much on the pungent side when raw, there’s an amazing amount of culinary chemistry that takes place when cooking: it gets golden and fluffy with a mild, delicious flavor. When it comes to choosing the perfect apple for our pudding, there was no competition.”
Charlie Bigham eats a classic apple pie featuring bramble apple slices in cinnamon and apple compote, topped with famous almonds, Madagascar vanilla frangipane, and a sprinkle of blanched almonds. This is irresistible with double cream.
So, if you’re looking for a comforting pudding with all the warmth and flavor—but no fuss—this fall, look no further, because Charlie Bigham’s has done all the hard work for you.
Even the best home chefs take the shortcut every now and then, and this is where their Charlie Bigham dessert comes in. With gooey candy from gooey candy to molten chocolate, who can resist?