If you're not making your own Christmas pudding this year, there are hundreds of commercial varieties for you to choose from, ranging from a few dollars to well over $50.
So which ones will leave guests asking for more, and which will leave them with a bad taste?
In the pudding test hot seat are four mums blind sampling ten popular brands from supermarket, specialty shops and delis - puddings spiked with brandy, cognac or candied citrus, and filled with ginger, spices, nuts and of course dried fruits.More stories from Today Tonight
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The puddings are compared for flavour, aroma, texture, moisture, appearance and how they slice up. And of course for their value for money.
Pudding prices range widely - from the cheapest bough from Coles and Aldi, at just 75 cents and $1 per 100 grams; to the top end bought from Thomas Dux, whose Newcastle Pudding Lady costs $43.
Phillippa's pudding retails at $52.95, which is seven times more expensive than the cheapest, but it boasts superior quality all-natural and well balanced ingredients.
The panel's top tasting picks were an interesting mix.
In equal third place were Woolworths Vintage Christmas Pudding, decorated with candied orange segments and retailing at 19.80; together with the pricey Thomas Dux Newcastle's Pudding Lady.
In second place was Heston Blumenthal's Hidden Orange pudding, retailing at $18 for 1.2kg.
Surprising the panel's overall winner was the Coles Fine Luxury pudding, laden with nuts and retailing at just $14.
Most puddings scored well, but not Myer's Traditional Steamed Christmas pudding, which retails at $14 and was the fourth most expensive, but the least liked, which proves that paying more doesn't always satisfy more.
Food and wine expert Lyndey Milan is an advocate of home cooking, but admits that for a stress-free Christmas, commercial puddings offer great value, and great presentation.Puddings tested by Today Tonight:
- DJ's Rich Fruit Pudding - 1kg $41.99
- ALDI The Cake Stall Luxury Xmas Pudding - 900gm $8.99
- Thomas Dux Newcastle's Pudding Lady - 1kg $43.00
- Woolworths Vintage Christmas Pudding - 907gm $19.80
- Woolworths Select Matured with Cognac - 800gm $9.00
- Phillippa's Traditional Plum Pudding - 900gm $52.95 - www.phillippas.com.au
- Coles Christmas Pudding - 1 kg $7.50
- Coles Finest Luxury - 900gm $14.00
- Heston Blumenthal from Waitrose, Hidden Orange - 1.2kg $18.00
- Myer Traditional Steamed Christmas Pudding - 400gm $13.99
- Itha's Puddings (Choice testers' top) - www.ithaspuddings.com.au
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