Monthly Archives: December 2012

Traditional Christmas pudding by Ruth Pretty

Journey to a Christmas Pudding | Murray Lloyd Photography

Mother in law would be delighted if I made the pud. Raisins yes, sultanas yes, currents yes…dried pineapple must get, figs also, beef suet must get, so much for being vegetarian….brandy yes, sherry must get – great chilled pre-dinner drink. Need a 1.5 litre bowl … and a space of five 7 ½ uninterrupted hours. Need string. Mother in law provides bowl, suet from the butcher. All assembled. Have coffee and begin. Chop, chop chop. Suet rather smelly, minced, rubbed in. Mix into bowl. Paper lids on, teflon rubber bands replace string. Pud in pot. That took 2 ½ hrs only 5hrs to go….water gets in top of pud. redo paper still 5hrs to go…


finished pudding should look something like this, recipe in Ruth Pretty Cooks at Home or you can find it in 2012 or even better save for 2013. Another recipe from the book might also be good around Christmas.

Traditional Christmas pudding by Ruth Pretty.

Portrait of Jo Coffey, owner of L'Affair au Chocolat in Berhampore, Wellington.

The best Chocolate in Wellington | Murray Lloyd Photography

Window of L'affair au Chocolat in Wellington, NZ.

Look, break, smell, taste were the instructions given to me as I sat across from chocolate purveyor Jo Coffey. I had been drawn to her Behampore premises by the exotic bars of chocolate my wife brought home from a Wellington on a Plate event in August.

Portrait of Jo Coffey from L'affair au Chocolat in Wellington.

Two bars of Francois Pralus dark 75% Chocolate from Indonesia and Columbia

As I tasted the chocolate (mostly dark 70% or higher) from Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador, Madagascar and Columbia I picked up hints of wood smoke, caramel , dried fruit , molasses and more. Furthermore I experienced dry finishes and subtle aftertaste similar to a wine tasting.

However good wine is more plentiful.  The single origin bars below are made from the criollo bean which is regarded as the finest of the three main varieties of beans (the other two are trinitario and forastero). Criollo chocolate represents less than 3% of the world’s supply.

Two Menakao dark chocolate bars from Madagaskar

The chocolates from El Ceibo, Kallari (naturally organic because they could never afford any chemicals) Menakao and the Grenada Chocolate Company (who have completed the first carbon neutral chocolate delivery to Europe) are distinctive, as they all come from groups of growers who retain autonomy over the whole process – from tree to bean to packaged bar – all from within their own regions.

Organic 82% dark chocolate from Grenada Chocolate Company.

Kallari organic 70% dark chocolate from Ecuador.

Kallari organic 75% dark chocolate from Ecuador.

Kallari organic chocolate, 85% Cacao from Ecuador.

El Ceibo 75% dark chocolate bars from Bolivia.

L’affair au Chocolat is the only New Zealand distributor of these gorgeous bars and they are in limited supply (Jo does distribute some of the range at Urban Harvest). Have your own affair with this equatorial produce over Christmas – the bars make great stocking fillers.

L’affair au Chocolat can be found at 464 Adelaide Road, Berhampore, Wellington,  and if you are lucky you can park right outside.

Unfortunately L’affair au Chocolat has now closed.