Southbank VIC 3006
Ph: (3) 8696 8888
Website: The Langham Melbourne
Christmas in July? I wonder how that got started. Regardless, I love it. How can you have too many Christmases right? Christmas is about all things decandent and gluttinous in regards to food, so when I got an invite to make Christmas pudding at The Langham Melbourne, I was extremely excited.
The Langham is one of Melbourne's premier hotels, and when you are greeted by the glorious lobby, you can't help but feel transported to another era of grandeur and refinement.
I was led upstairs to beautifully decorated room with Christmas wreaths and candles throughout. A glass of wonderful champagne was presented to me, which got topped up many times throughout the night. I chatted to the other food bloggers invited, as well as food industry writers and editors. Canapes were served (and only some of which photographed as I was too busy eating them), all very different, beautifully presented and tasty. The best part was, we were continued to be served champagne and canapes whilst we were downstairs in the kitchen and making the pudding. Now that's indulgence.
Top centre large photo: Prosciutto with Cheese and Herb on Toast
Clockwise from top left: Cucumber, mozarella and tomato, Seaweed wrapped in Salmon, Roasted Lamb with chutney, Seared scallop with pea puree, Fried lamb wrapped in zucchini, Sushi roll
After eating canapes, it was time to do some "work", as head chef Anthony Ross told us. We were split into two groups. My group first learnt to make chocolate truffles with Zara. Zara told us about tempering chocolate using the seeding technique. Tempering chocolate is the process of changing the molecular chemistry such that the chocolate forms a stable solid with a smooth and shiny surface. This is a must if you want good looking chocolates with a great texture. The seeding method involved heating two thirds of the chocolate until melted, and then adding one third off the heat. To test that the chocolate is tempered properly, Zara said to test a bit of it on your lip. If you cannot notice any temperature difference, it means the chocolate is at about 37 degrees and the perfect temperature. You have successfully tempered chocolate. We made White Chocolate Truffles which contained elderflower and raspberry ganache. The second Milk Chocolate Truffles we made contained rum. A few of us had a turn at making the truffles, after which we got to eat them of course. They were both sensational, and as a reward for our hard work, we got to eat florentines and nut clusters. It was such hard work, seriously.
After our chocolate making efforts, we had some quick sips of champagne and then went to see head chef Anthony Ross to make our pudding. Anthony was such a funny and joyous man. He made the whole pudding making so much fun. First we saw the massive amounts of sugar, butter and fruits that went into the pudding. That then all got heaped onto the table, and off we went. Hands went in and started squishing everywhere. Whilst I dove in with both hands and squished butter like no tomorrow, Sarah adopted a one handed technique. She finely balanced between squishing butter with the left hand and photographing with the right. Michele took a more stand back approach and got some fantastic photos of all the booze that went into this pudding.
After all that work, here is the final result. One totally boozy, delicious pudding. I licked my fingers clean of all the batter, and even that was tasty. I can't wait to see how it matures in 5 months time. We each put a little charm into our puddings, and below is my one, with a little Santa Claus charm in it. You heard right, Sarah, Michele, Agnes, Penny and Joyce, that specific pudding is mine, so keep your grubby fingers off my perfect pudding when it comes time to collet them.
Thanks to Caryn Ng, Tina Orr from Media Moguls and The Langham for inviting me to this delicious masterclass.