I love baking; my waistline (and hips) will attest to it. As Shakira knows, they cannot lie. However, the one thing that does annoy me with baking – apart from the washing up – is when you make something a bit unusual or special and then end up with half used bags of ingredients you may not use again. I think I have about 4kg of sultanas in my cupboards, (but all in smaller bags because the cake I was baking called for 85g and the smallest bag i could get was 500g)! Which is why I think The Pudding Post is great – you have everything you need in the portions you need it.
For £14.85 a month you get a box through your door with everything you need to make a fabulous cake. I was telling a friend who baulked at the fact I was baking a cake that was essentially costing me £15 but I pointed out that it isn’t a standard cake, it’s something pretty special and if I had to buy the ingredients individually I would spend more than £15 (and be left with random amounts of things I possibly wouldn’t use again). For example, this cake included the most delicious gingerbread syrup and if I had to buy that I would have an entire bottle (when I only needed a generous splash) and not only that; there is no guarantee I could get it in my local shops so this immediately cut out the searching and scavenging you sometimes end up doing when baking a cake! Disclaimer: This isn’t my first Pudding Post experience, I have previously made one of their other cakes which was stunning so I was pleased when they asked me to try another box and excited to see if the last one had been a one off. <SPOILERS> It wasn’t!
What do you get?
In the box you get all the ingredients you need to make the cake (which in this case was a plum, pecan and gingerbread upside down cake), along with an instructions card, and a card with handy tips and advice. A day or so before your box arrives you also get an email letting you know what is coming along with the amounts of milk/butter/eggs you need.
What I really like about the Pudding Post is that everything comes all ready for you to go. You feel a little like you’ve got your own team of chefs doing all the hard prep for you and I can’t tell you how much easier it makes the actual baking. Despite being a very keen baker for years I am still not that great at setting everything up in advance and having everything all weighed out and prepped. Plus, as I work full time and have a 4 year old son, the convenience factor here is a huge plus point. This might sound silly but I also really like the box, it comes in really handy for somewhere to put all your mess until you need to tidy up. One of my pet hates is having egg shells sat on the side whilst baking so I often pop a bowl there for me to throw them in – this was one less bowl to wash up and meant that I could ‘dump’ everything in one place and then deal with all the mess easily later on. Its a small thing but it did make a big difference for me.
Following the instructions I made a pretty impressive cake – and I cannot tell you how delicious that gingerbread syrup was. I am definitely guilty of sticking to a handful of tried and trusted recipes and bakes so I enjoyed being pushed out of my comfort zone with this. It was my first upside down cake but with the email and the tips card it feels like someone was still definitely holding my hand! Mine took a little longer to bake than it said on the card, but I’ve found that to be pretty common with our oven anyway. I knew that I would have to turn the cake upside down once it was cooled so I wanted to make sure that it was definitely baked in the middle but still gloopy enough to be a fruity upside down cake. I was worried that I had overdone it but it was fine. I did (foolishly) end up using a loose-based tin so some of the caramelised juices escaped – however this didn’t affect the end cake at all (other than it looking slightly less ‘done’ than the photo on the recipe card.
It was scrummy, it felt like a truly indulgent cake and I now feel more confident with upside down cakes than I have in the past. I can’t wait to try more! Thank you Pudding Post team for helping me learn new skills, impressing my friends and colleagues, and above all, making me feel like my own little fancy Chef for one night.