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Dec 11 2013

The 5 Pudding Challenge: Are you up for it?

If you read my last post, you will know that I went to Liverpool recently and stayed in a hostel called HOAX Liverpool, which has a kitchen bar and restaurant attached to it called HOPSKOTCH.  Well, once I had sorted out my stay there, I received the following tweet…

‘Pudding club, what the heck is that?’, I thought to myself.  I had no idea what a pudding club was but it sounded good.  I mean, what is there not to like about puddings, desserts, or whatever you want to call them?  So, of course, I was interested.  I had never been to a ‘Pudding Club’ and had never heard of it before so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was told there would be 5, yes, 5 puddings on the set menu for that night.  I wasn’t sure if they were a mix of sweet and savoury because, just in case you aren’t familiar with traditional English cuisine, we have savoury puds, like Steak and Kidney Pudding.  For veggies, like me, that wouldn’t do, so I emailed to explain that I was veggie and was told the menu was suitable for veggies.  Without a second thought, I booked it.  Crazy?  Yes, as always, but I was quite excited about my first pudding night.

I was already in Manchester so it only took me an hour to get to Liverpool.  I checked into my hostel and sorted out all my stuff.  By that time, it was almost 7.30pm, which is when pudding night begins.  Was I prepared?  Well, no, not really because I had stupidly devoured a Pistachio Cake a few hours earlier.

Pecan pie with soya cream

But it looked so good, I just couldn’t resist and it was delish!  Yes, OK, so my eyes really are bigger than my belly!  What was done was done.  I had booked it so I couldn’t back out now, I thought,  as I wandered next door to the restaurant.

I was greeted by a friendly waiter who let me choose where I wanted to sit.  I sat at a table by the window and awaited my first course.  That arrived along with a fruit tea.  I thought the fruit tea was a nice touch.  I am rather partial to them and I thought it might aid digestion.  After taking a few photographs and tweeting, I tucked in.  The Lemon Posset was so light and creamy that I had forgotten I wasn’t actually hungry and devoured it rather rapidly along with the accompanying shortbread.

Pudding 1 of 5 Lemon Posset and shortbread with Red Berry Tea

So… onto the second course.  What I hadn’t realised was that I would get a different herbal or fruit tea with every course.  It’s like having a different wine with each course but a tea-lovers version.

The second course was Chocolate Tart with Honeycomb Ice Cream.  To be honest, it was during this course that I suddenly realised how tired I was and that I wasn’t actually hungry.  What a time to indulge in the most amount of puddings I’ve ever had in one sitting.  Not only that, but with the cake I had eaten in Manchester, I was on my way to eating a total of 6 puddings in 6 hours – that’s one pudding an hour.  What on earth was I doing to myself?

Pudding 2 of 5 Chocolate Tart with Honeycomb Ice CreamMy determination got me through as I polished off pudding number 2, although it did take me a while to finish it.

The waiter said that the next pudding was incredible, his favourite.  ‘Oh, great!’, I thought to myself.  I really didn’t want to miss out so along came pudding number 3 – Strawberry Mille-Feuille.  It was so nicely presented and I really wanted to eat it so, after a deep breath, I plunged my fork into the filo pastry.  I managed the first mouthful and, yes, the whipped cream and fresh strawberries with the crumbly pastry was delicious but… could I finish it?  I really struggled at this point but, after a very long time, I did.

Pudding 3 of 5 Strawberry Mille-Feuille

On to pudding 4 – a meringue topped with berries.  Yes, I did get to pudding 4, which was actually pudding 5 for me for that day.  That was the prettiest of all the puddings but this is when I realised that was it.  There was no way I could physically eat another pudding after that one.  In fact, I only managed to eat the fruit.  I just couldn’t do it to myself.  I was so tired and full to bursting.

Pudding 4 of 5

When the waiter came over to collect the leftovers of pudding 4, I explained that there was no way I could eat another pudding but I would like to just take a picture of it.  He must have thought I was some kind of fruit cake (sorry, I couldn’t resist!).  Nonetheless, he agreed and, thinking on his feet, he came up with the perfect solution.  He said that he would bring it out so I could photograph it and asked if I wanted to take it away with me, seeing as I had paid for it.  What a brilliant idea!  If I was thinking straight, I would have asked him to do that but, as I wasn’t, I was so glad he offered that as a solution.   Pudding 5 was Carrot Cake with walnuts.
Pudding 5 of 5 Carrot Cake
I love Carrot Cake and walnuts but there is no way on earth I could have eaten it that night.  After I had photographed it, he took it away, wrapped it in foil, and brought it back to me.  My final tweet for the evening, as I finished off my peppermint tea, was as follows:

After that, I paid my £10.95, which I think is a great price for 5 desserts and 5 pots of fruit/herbal teas, before waddling off to my room, wishing I hadn’t been such a pig.

The next day though, I was delighted with the leftover pudding I tucked into at lunchtime.

Words of wisdom, should you decide to take on the 5 pudding challenge: 

  1. Wear loose clothing.

  2. Don’t eat anything sweet in advance.  Learn from someone who has already made that mistake.

  3. Have a light savoury meal beforehand.

  4. Take your time.  You have until 11pm to finish the menu.

  5. Know when to stop.  You can always take a pudding or two home with you.

Location

This is where Hopskotch and the Pudding Club is located…

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The Pudding Club is once a month on a Monday night.  If you’re interested, check out their website for more details.

Have your say

What do you think about the Pudding Club?  Are you up for the challenge?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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