Uh oh. Hide the mirrors. Find the comfy clothes with the baggy waistline. British Puddings ahoy!
If you are harbouring ideas about a diet and you have a bit of a sweet tooth turn away now. If you a foreigner who has not learned the delights of British puddings then, boy is this a treat for you. The strap line for this book had this reviewer alert like a dog to a bone: "Over 140 sweet, sticky, yummy, classic recipes from the world-famous pudding club." Now, this reviewer has no idea what this pudding club is, famous or otherwise, but that is not the point. This book has a lot of lovely recipes for lovely things.
Short of having one's own personal chef and there are not that many restaurants in Finland making good-for-honest British puds, one tends to have to rely on "food parcels" from the mother country or undertake a spot of DIY. Of course, when time is a bit short, it is sort of easy to kid yourself that you won't make such a pudding since you are watching your waistline, yet be presented with a rather nice pudding menu in a pub or restaurant and suddenly it is a lot harder to say no...
So this book of culinary torture and pleasure (can this be what S&M really is?) is split into key chapters of champion puddings; school-dinner puddings; family favourites; forgotten puddings; puddings with a twist; chocoholics & nut cases; summer puddings and finally winter puddings. All self explanatory. The book starts with a "what is the pudding club?" page of text and then it is straight to cooking. A plethora of hints and tips begin so you have no excuse to wondering what or why you would steam a pudding. This reviewer didn't see a speech on why custard is important, but he was rather distracted and begs the author's indulgence if such an omission was not, in fact, an omission.
The recipes are concise, well written and illustrated with the culinary equivalent of "erotic" pictures. The pudding virgin gets to see the dish in its natural glory whilst the more experienced enthusiast has an object of lust in their hands (!) as well as a possibly rumbling tum. There are even little pudding information nodules throughout to help bolster your pudding knowledge when you subsequently begin to enthuse these dishes to those who are perhaps not 'in on the secret'.
Sure, there are many books with many different pudding recipes. Yet this book manages to combine a lot of great puddings, useful information and general pudding good-feeling in its relatively compact little form. The price tag makes it accessible to all and can perhaps even help reinforce the stereotype about British cuisine whilst breaking it at the same time. You'll have to read this book to learn more. An eminently suitable book for all, well unless you are really counting those calories and are on a misery diet of celery sticks and water that is!