16 October 2011

"Chocolate pud"

This is reportedly world's most expensive dessert, with the eye watering price tag of £22,000. Styled like a Faberge Easter egg, the extravagant chocolate pud is believed to have broken all previous records thanks to its pricey list of ingredients which includes gold, champagne caviar and a two carat diamond. Layered with champagne jelly and a light biscuit joconde, the creation is finished with bitter dark chocolate and glazed with edible gold leaf. It has been created by Marc Guibert, head chef at Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel in Windermere, Cumbria.
In an effort to learn something while posting this, I looked up the history of pudding:
It seems that the ancestor of the term was the Latin word botellus, meaning sausage, from which came boudin and also pudding... Though time, many different kinds of foods have been known by this name. The creamy, rich pudding dessert we (Americans) think of today is more closely related to custard...

Food historians generally agree the first puddings made by ancient cooks produced foods similar to sausages... Medieval puddings (black and white) were still mostly meat-based. 17th century English puddings were either savory (meat-based) or sweet (flour, nuts & sugar) and were typically boiled in special pudding bags...

The distinction between European custard and American pudding became muddled sometime in the 1840s. At that time in America, traditional boiled puddings were no longer necessary to feed the average family. There was plenty of food. This also happened to be the same time when Alfred Bird, an English chemist, introduced custard powder as an alternative to egg thickeners. It wasn't long before Americans began using custard powder and other cornstarch derivatives as thickeners for custard-type desserts. This proved quite useful for overlander (conestoga wagon) cooks who did not have ready access to a reliable supply of fresh eggs...
Photo credit  Alistair Ferrier/PA, via The Telegraph.


  1. One can only hope that anyone ostentatious enough to actually order this would choke to death on it!

  2. Why do Brits and Canadians call any dessert pudding? I'm too lazy to Google it, and figure that one of your erudite readers will know.

  3. 10:1 odds against it being distinguishable from a £21,000 pudding.

  4. Try to resist imagining how the diamond might be retrieved.

  5. My little moment of pedantry...
    I think it's cheating to call a dish the most expensive of its kind simply because someone's plonked something valuable on top of it, like a diamond. I think to qualify, all of the dish should be edible - the price tag should be due to the ingredients used.

  6. Wait until they see my dessert that is topped off with a moon rock!


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