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We are all about tradition here at the English Tea Store. English Christmas Pudding, also known as Plum Pudding or Figgy Pudding, is a delicious Christmas dinner tradition dating back to the 14th century! It has been changed & re-invented over the years. By Victorian times, it has molded into what they are today, a delicious modern take on a blend of nutmeg, raisins, nuts, apples, cinnamon & many other ingredients! (Each brand has different ingredients) Spend more time enjoying your family this Christmas than in the kitchen and get a Christmas pudding today!

Putting a silver coin in the pudding is another custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it first! That may be a fun tradition to start with your family.


#1: Matthew Walker’s Classic Christmas Pudding

Matthew Walker's Classic Christmas Pudding - 14.1oz (400g)

Ingredients: Sultanas (31%) (contains Cottonseed Oil), Sugar, Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Wholemeal Wheat Flour, Wheat Germ, Yeast, Salt), Water, Cider (7%), Palm Oil, Wheat Flour, Molasses, Candied Citrus Peel (Glucose, Orange Peel, Sugar, Lemon Peel, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid), Salt, Mixed Spice

You can purchase this pudding in 3.5 oz.14.1 oz or 28.2 oz.



#2: Matthew Walker Luxury Christmas Pudding no. 13


Matthew Walker Luxury Christmas Pudding no 13 - 28.2oz (800g)


Ingredients: Sultanas, raisins, currants (32%), cider (11%), demerara sugar, sugar, breadcrumbs (wheat flour, wholemeal wheat flour, wheat germ, yeast, salt), palm oil, brandy (4%), glace cherries (4%) (cherries, glucose-fructose syrup, colour: anthocyanin, acidity regulator: citric acid, preservative: sulphur dioxide), rum (3%), rusk (wheat flour, salt), wheat flour, sherry (2%), almonds, walnuts, orange and lemon peel, molasses, mixed spice, salt.

You can purchase this pudding in 3.5 oz.14.1 oz., or 28.2 oz.



We highly recommend that you put a whiskey butter, whipped cream or clotted cream on top of the pudding for some added flavor!







Julia Briggs (c)

Is it OK to say I do not like chocolate cake?  I do make chocolate cakes and I do eat some chocolates, like Maltesers but I have never been a fan of rich chocolate cakes so I make this orange flavour cake and put chocolate chips in and it is good.

You can of course use cocoa powder in place of some of the flour if you want a chocolate colour, you can also use milk, plain or white chocolate chips, I only had white chocolate in stock.  I filled half with orange marmalade and half with lemon curd and butter icing to satisfy the whole family!

You will need: Two 8″ cake tins well greased or one well greased 10″ cake tin. Oven 180 C  350 F  Gas Mark 4

  • 8 oz Butter
  • 8 oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • A few drops of vanilla essence
  • A few drops of orange essence
  • 8 oz Self Raising flour
  • Grated rind of an orange
  • juice of half an orange
  • 4 oz chocolate chips

Julia Briggs (c)

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy then add the beaten eggs with a spoonful of flour and the vanilla and orange essence.  Fold in the flour, grated rind, juice and chocolate chips.  Pour into two 8″ cake tins or one 10″ tin.  Cook for 35 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.  Leave in the tin to cool slightly, using a cake tester or needle prick all over the top of the cake and then mix the other half of the orange juice with a little hot water and pour onto the cake. When slightly cool take from the tin and place on a wire rack until completely cold.

Slice the cake, or not if you have made two!  Spread orange marmalade or lemon cheese on the bottom half then cream or butter icing onto the underside of the top half of the cake.  Sandwich them together and enjoy a piece with a cup of tea.


–  JAB

IMG_5522Red Velvet cake is basically a chocolate cake with red coloring so you can use a Betty Crocker cake mix or use the chocolate cake we made earlier in the year and add some red coloring.

You can also use a tub of Betty Crocker Cream Cheese style icing or you can make an icing and filling of your own. I used an Italian Meringue Icing which we will be making next week. So either make the cake mix or start from scratch by heating the oven and preparing your tins.

Oven 180 C 350 F or gas mark 4  Grease and/or line 2 8 inch cake tins.

  • 6 oz butter
  • 6 oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 oz self raising flour
  • 1 oz cocoa powder
  • a few drops of red food coloring

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour with each egg.  Whisk well.  Slowly fold in the flour and cocoa powder then add the IMG_5523food coloring until the desired color is achieved.  Put into the two tins and bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly in the tins then remove and place on a cooling rack.

Once cold use the cream cheese style icing to sandwich the two cakes together and all round the top and sides.  Decorate as you like.





(c) Julia Briggs- English Tea Store


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

  • Oven 175 C, 155 C Fan, 330 F or gas mark 4
  • Two packets of Oreo biscuits
  • 2 oz butter
  • One 400 g or 12 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 2-1/2 level tablespoons of custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • 4 oz dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer)
  • 4 oz double cream
  • 3 oz white chocolate


Make the base by combining all but three of the crushed biscuits with the softened butter and press 2/3 of this mixture  into a 8″ spring form tin and leave to cool.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store

Meanwhile mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon zest, custard powder, vanilla essence and sugar.  Then spread half over the base, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 biscuit base on and top with the other half of the mixture.  At this point it can get a bit messy!

Smooth the top and bake for about one hour until firm to the touch.  Cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before decorating the top.


(c) Julia Briggs – English Tea Store


For the topping melt the dark chocolate and mix with 3 oz cream, melt the white chocolate in a separate container and mix with the remaining one oz of  cream.  Spread the dark chocolate over the entire cake top and drizzle on the white chocolate.  Use a fork to create a pattern on top and, presuming you still have the 3 biscuits you did not use in the base then use these to decorate the sides.  Mine had mysteriously disappeared when it came to this part!!

What’s life without dessert, especially when it’s drinkable? No, we’re not talking about milkshakes, hot cocoa, chilled mocha drinks, or pie that’s been given the blender treatment (what, you’ve never puréed pie?). We’re talking tea!

Yes, some teas are so yummy and sort of sweet that they are dessert-like. Vanilla and fruit flavored teas are good options. Other teas are the basis of tea drinks that have a dessert quality. Chais and bubble teas are the best known.

Vanilla teas

Adding vanilla to tea is a quick and easy way to turn your tea into dessert. You can go cheap and easy by adding a few drops of vanilla extract to your teapot or a drop in your teacup. A better way is to purchase a tea with vanilla already in it. Usually, these “ready made” vanilla teas have other ingredients, too, making them even more dessert-like. Monk’s Blend is one I’ve tried. It also contains pomegranate, and has a fruity, caramelly, mild, milky smooth taste that needs little sweetener. Get back to basics with Vanilla Naturally Flavored Black Tea. Add some mint to your vanilla tea for a heavenly taste experience, like Golden Moon’s Vanilla Mint that uses both green and black teas. Don’t forget the coconut, like you find in Harney & Sons Green Tea with Coconut.

Fruit-flavored teas

Fruits have been a part of dessert for about as long as man has eaten fruit. (“Here, have a bite of this apple!”) So, fruit-flavored teas are a natural substitute for more calorie-laden fruity desserts such as pies, tarts, and ice creams. Black tea flavored with peach and apricot is one that comes to mind. Cranberry Orange Flavored Black Tea is another. Both of these can stand a bit of milk and sweetener added to give them a creamier, more dessert-like quality. Of course, you can also drink them straight and enjoy every fruity drop. Green teas with fruit flavors added can be just as dessert like. Granny Green Apple and Bohemian Raspberry are a couple of prime examples. Don’t forget white teas like Revolution Tea’s White Pear and Harrisons & Crosfield White Tea with Blackcurrant.


Night of the Iguana Chai

While “chai” is the Indian word for “tea,” in Western countries that word has come to mean “spiced tea.” Most are based on black teas, but some are based on green teas. The variety of spices that are used varies widely, depending on whether you want the tea to be more on the sweet side or more on the spicy side. Cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, and cloves push your chai toward that sweet side. Add milk and maybe some sugar and you have dessert in a teacup.

Bubble tea (pearl milk tea)

Also called boba tea, milk tea, pearl shake, tapioca iced tea, and zhen zhu nai cha (Chinese). Originating in the late 1980s in Taiwan as a children’s drink, bubble tea is now a phenomenon in many other parts of the world, especially where there is a large Chinese population.

So, what’s in it? Start with a darker Oolong or a green Jasmine tea served in a tall glass. Add enough milk and sugar so that they dominate the taste. Don’t forget a flavoring of your choice. There are lots of options, such as fruits, coffee, almond, and — of course! — chocolate.

The most important ingredient, and the one that sets this apart from other dessert teas, is the marble-sized tapioca balls (made of starch from the roots of manioc, also called yucca, and loaded with carbs). They are chewy and usually black. They lurk in the bottom of the glass, waiting for you to slurp up all the tea and get to them. Sort of like those cookie crumbs that break off when you dunk and then wait patiently for you at the bottom of the teacup or mug.

Milk Oolong

Actually, here I must distinguish between Oolongs that are good with milk versus a special type of Oolong that has a milky aroma and flavor. An example of the former is The Republic of Tea’s All Day Breakfast Black Tea, made from Keemun Oolong (oxidized toward the black end of the Oolong scale). The latter kind is available from a variety of vendors online. It’s an Oolong made from tea leaves harvested at the right moment (after a sudden shift in temperature, an uncommon occurrence) to produce that milkiness. There are several versions of milk Oolongs, and the tastes are described as creamy, caremelly, coconut milky, and milk toffee candies.

There is also Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong, made with a different type of milk — the kind from a coconut (great for those of you who are lactose intolerant). It’s a sweet flavor you’ll love in place of heavy desserts.

That should give you some good places to start. Pick a tea and imbibe it in place of that calorie-laden pie or cake. Not necessarily every day, but certainly once or twice a week. Your waistline will thank you. Mine does!

Don’t forget to check out A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!


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