According to my partner, when the invite from patisserie chef Jenny Hudson arrived for the Sweet As’s Pudding Society, I looked like Charlie winning his ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. In my defense, I was merely pleased that I could indulge my sweet tooth with like-minded dessert fans.
With a welcome glass of prosecco, fellow blogger Glamour in the County and I were shown into a buzzy room of 53 people at the Warwick Arms Hotel. Couples work colleagues and groups of friends were all ready to enjoy five Sweet As desserts,plus their signature chocolate cake.
Caroline Beresford, the hotel’s General Manager, began the evening with a charming poem hoping that we would “not be subdued into a pudding coma”, advising us to take it steady so that we would “not hit a pudding wall.”
With that in mind, our starter of mini beer battered fish, with a neat stack of chips, a smudge of pea puree and large pot of tartar sauce, was surprisingly larger than I had expected.
Our first dessert was a fresh strawberry cheesecake with a strawberry coulis and fresh strawberries. I really liked the rich, buttery base of this pudding.
Up next, the slice of pear and chocolate pudding fooled us into thinking that it would taste like a brownie, but it had a much lighter, crispier texture.
In between courses I chatted to the three ladies on the next table. They were there for a girls night out and the good quality food was a bonus. They loved their puds, so on a recommendation were trying the Pudding Society for the first time.
Glamour in the County and I were given a backstage pass to see the chefs in action. The tall Black Forest gateau, with chocolate and black cherries, was a pretty swirl of ingredients in a dessert glass. Each layer took you closer to the most moreish, solid, chocolate base. The chef told us that the decorative pattern on the dark chocolate wafer was a transfer motif, pressed onto the chocolate then cut into pieces. I don’t think he was too impressed though when I compared this culinary technique to my nail wraps!
According to Caroline the next course, of a sticky toffee pudding served with butterscotch sauce, is a big hit with customers. They would be happy to see it on the menu at every Pudding Society dinner. By hosting the evenings every three months rather than monthly, the team has a great opportunity to add new, seasonal and signature puddings to the menu – keeping it varied and tempting.
By the end of the evening I had to take up the “if you start to flag, we’ll give you a goody bag” offer and take my chocolate tasting plate home. The classic chocolate indulgence brownie, mini chocolate ganache dipped cake, a chocolate dipped strawberry and handmade chocolate truffles were a perfect way to end an evening of chocolate heaven.
The next Pudding Society event, on Friday 23rd August, will be part of Warwick Rocks Food and Film Festival. Diners can expect a film, movie style food and Sweet As desserts. http://www.sweet-as.co.uk