Warm, sticky puddings are a British staple – tart apple, gooey chocolate, almondy bakewell. And if your tastebuds are tickled, there is a way you can enjoy all of the comfort with none of the hard work
The British have enjoyed a long-lasting love affair with the classic pud, from the earliest-recorded examples of the 1600s (French travel writer Henri Misson de Valbourg noting: “Ah, what an excellent thing is an English pudding!”), to the nation sitting down as one to watch bakers struggling to master Sussex pond pudding on The Great British Bake Off.
Warm and comforting puddings pop up regularly in British literature, from A Christmas Carol’s festive plum pudding, proudly brought flaming to the table by Mrs Cratchit “like a speckled cannonball”, to Mrs Weasley conjuring up a sticky treacle pudding in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Perhaps it’s no surprise they’ve become a staple: steaming, cosy and irresistible, they’re a perfectly delicious way to hunker down, treat yourself, and ward off the chill of the colder months. Yet, despite hundreds of years of culinary advances, making a traditional pudding from scratch can still be a time-consuming business – which is why Charlie Bigham has created his own range of proper puds.
“We first experimented with puddings about 15 years ago, but we didn’t give it quite enough attention,” says Charlie Bigham, whose company bears his name. “We started making puddings properly about two and a half years ago. We played around with ideas, and now we have a very nice range, including sticky toffee, bramley apple and molten chocolate.”
From bramley apples to molten chocolate, a proper pud makes a meal
Bigham was inspired to start creating desserts by customers who felt there was something missing from his range. Pudding lovers wrote asking him to use his magic touch to conjure up the perfect follow-on to his mouthwatering mains. Comments such as: “Why don’t you do desserts? It would save me a lot of time,” persuaded Bigham to head into the kitchen, turning his attention to hearty favourites – puds that would take a home baker several hours, and a lot of washing up, to create themselves.
The result is Charlie Bigham’s Proper Puds, which are already winning Great Taste awards. Freshly handmade in small batches in the company’s dedicated bakery, these classic British puddings are ready to bake in the oven at home and serve in under 30 minutes, and there’s something in the range to tempt everyone to the table.
Fans of cooking shows will be all too familiar with the disappointment of a chocolate pudding that doesn’t deliver on its molten middle, but there’s no need for that edge-of-your-seat moment when your spoon plunges into one of Charlie Bigham’s molten chocolate puddings. Available as a pack of two, they deliver a gooey centre every time – and taste sensational with vanilla ice-cream.
Bigham’s cherry bakewell pudding comes as a larger pud to share, or as two individual servings, and offers a tasty twist on the traditional tart. “Everyone was surprised we didn’t go with bakewell tarts, but we were making a pudding,” Bigham says. “I thought that with some cherries and lovely almonds, it could be great, so we decided to give it a go. And I think now it’s our bestselling pudding.”
Made from seasonal cherries harvested at their best, the pudding features a sweet cherry compote, an almond and Madagascan vanilla frangipane sponge, and flaked almonds. “It’s just a fantastic colour and richness – delicious,” says Bigham, who recommends serving this pud with a dollop of creme fraiche on the side.
And, of course, no pudding range would be complete without a bramley apple dessert to tempt our tastebuds. “Bramley apples are the perfect apple for a pudding,” says Bigham. “Very much on the tart side when raw, there’s a fantastic bit of culinary alchemy that happens when cooked: they become golden and fluffy with a light and delicious flavour. When it came to selecting the perfect apple for our pudding there was simply no contest.”
Charlie Bigham’s take on a classic apple pie features bramley apple slices in a cinnamon and apple compote, topped with its popular almond and Madagascan vanilla frangipane, and a sprinkling of flaked almonds. This is irresistible with double cream.
So if you’re looking for a comforting pudding with all the warmth and flavour – but none of the fuss – this autumn, you need look no further, because Charlie Bigham’s has done all the hard work for you.
Even the best home cooks take the occasional shortcut, and that’s where Charlie Bigham’s puddings come into their own. With treats from sticky toffee to molten chocolate, who can resist?


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