I've been holding back on posting Part 2 of my British food adventure for one reason: I haven't had Christmas pudding. There's one in the house but as it takes a long time to warm up (slowly over steam) no one is inclined to make it. I'm sorry to fail you Carolyn! However, I've had a lot of other cakes, pies and sweets that I wouldn't normally have in the States.
While we were visiting the Lake District in October, I had sticky toffee pudding. It was a very moist date cake which I had served with custard. Oh. My. So. Decadent. Want. More.
About custard. I need more of that in my life, too. But I've been saying that for years. I'd far rather have custard on a pie or cake rather than ice cream or whipped cream.
Now, there's chocolate. I already have a thing for trying regional candies and the ones that you'd think would be the same, taste different. So yeah, I've had a lot of chocolate. Luckily, it's the season for variety packs of miniature bars of candy. We've gotten a few from the main candy producers.
Nestle makes Quality Street. Graham called them "A British tradition, some of which are actively unpleasant." The plain chocolates and caramels were fine, but the creme filled ones weren't too great. There may still be an orange creme at the bottom of the box.
Mars has a collection called Celebrations and Cadbury has a collection called Heroes. I'm becoming attached to several of the Cadbury candies, Crunchie and Eclairs in particular.
I didn't go looking for Turkish delight, but there was some in a box of chocolates I received for Christmas. They were terrible. It's a rose flavored jelly candy, and in the case of the terrible ones I had, covered in chocolate. I generally like rose flavored things, so I wonder if I'd prefer Turkish delight that is the jelly simply covered in powdered sugar. I don't know.
I really need to lay off the chocolate.
Mince pies are available at home, but they aren't nearly as popular as here. We had a homemade mince tart after dinner on Christmas Eve, and a few meals have ended with miniature mince pies from the supermarket.
I may not have had Christmas pudding, but I have had Christmas cake. This particular one is fruitcake (sultanas and nuts mostly) with a layer of marzipan and white icing on top. It is dense, sweet and pretty nice.