I was lucky enough to be invited to the Langham's kitchen for Christmas in July, to make my very own Christmas pudding, along with 5 other food bloggers, media and other personalities.
I love the Langham. I did alot of my year 12 photography folio based on the fountain the grand entrance. I have also come various times for the buffet. I unfortunately missed out on the bloggers high tea as I was moving house, but am making a special trip there with Miss A at the end of next month to indulge our taste buds.
We all met in the Little Collins Room. It has a lovely warm feeling with a giant wooden table in the centre of the room, tea candles, and Christmas decorations. We were doted on with champagne and a fantastic array of canapes.
After a bit of a mingle, we donned on our Langham aprons, chef hats and headed down to the kitchens. There were two kitchens, both decorated in the Christmasy style; one making truffles and various chocolates, the other kitchen making puddings. We were split into two groups, and my group started off with truffle making.
Pastry chef Zara told us all about tempering chocolate, and showed us how to dip the perfect truffle, as well as how to get the fancy spiky pattern. The white chocolate truffles had raspberry ganache and elderflower liqueur, they were simply divine.
When tempering chocolate, to check the temperature, you put the back of the spoon on your bottom lip. You shouldn't feel a difference in temperature.... this makes tempering chocolate a delicious exercise!
Then we had the rum truffles coated in Lindt milk chocolate and topped with cocoa nibs.
Needless to say, it was awesome!
We ran out of time to learn how to make the nut clusters, but us bloggers sampled quite a few of clusters on display. You can't let good chocolate go to waste!
We then changed over kitchens and headed in to pudding making 101 with Chef Anthony Ross. Anthony was a fantastic entertainer, and really made the group come alive as they squished their hands into the dough.
We started with pretty much all the butter in the world, mixed with hazelnut and almond meal. No flour in these puddings, they are gluten free! It is tipped all down the bench for everyone to get involved and start mixing. Anthony jokes "this is what you do when you don't have a mixer!". He then pours over a mass mixture of dried fruits that have been macerating in St Remy brandy with a mixture of spices, citrus juice and zest; the smell is phenomenal. The group then makes a well in the mixture and Anythony proceeds to pour in two cans of Guinness to give it a rich flavour.
We each then chose a charm, wrapped it in aluminum foil, and put it in our puddings. The puddings will be steamed for 2 hours and matured at the Langham for 5 months. We will then be delivered our puddings just in time for Christmas. I can't wait, it's my first pudding!
Luckily for us the canapes and champagne kept following when we were in the kitchens, making the whole night a blast.
The Langham Melbourne Christmas Pudding Recipe
185g almond meal
185g hazelnut meal
65g mixed peel
190g brown sugar
65g chopped figs
8g mixed spice
1 large lemon (zest and juice)
1 large orange (zest and juice)
1. Make a syrup with the brown sugar, water and brandy.
2. Add to the fruit and let fruit soak for up to a month.
3. Mix butter, hazelnut meal and almond meal.
4. Mix spices, salt, eggs, zest, juice, stout and milk together, then add to nut and butter mixture.
5. Finally, add figs and brandy soaked fruits and mix.
6. Grease pudding moulds with butter.
7. Fill in pudding mixture.
8. Cook in water bath for 4 hours.
9. When cooled, remove from the mould and store in a cool dry place.
To cook when serving:
1. Place 1 layer of baking paper and 1 layer of foil around the top of the pudding and tie securely with kitchen string.
2. Lower into a saucepan of boiling water (pudding needs to be 3/4 submerged)
3. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow to boil for 2 to 3 hours.
4. Top up water if required.
Serve with hot custard.
Makes 1, 2kg pudding.
I would like to thank Caryn and Tina from Media Moguls for letting me attend such a fabulous event!
Check out what the other bloggers thought about the night:
Joyce from MEL Hot or Not