Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clapham Man Wins!

In further weekend news, I won a competition! Hoorah!

It’s official - my Summer Pudding is the best on the internet!

The competition was organized on the phenomenally successful social networking site, Twitter, by the BBC’s face of technology, Maggie Philbin (@maggiephilbin) and her sister, Nickie Philbin (@NickiePhilbin). Maggie arranged for top British chef, Anton Edelman of Great Hallinbury Manor to judge the entries.

The challenge was to create the perfect Summer Pudding in time for Bank Holiday Saturday. Twitterers became intrigued, and tweeted the competition far and wide - in the end, entries came from around the world.

I couldn’t resist having a go - after all, what dessert could be more appropriate for the May Bank Holiday? I had some slight knowledge of the weaselly ways of summer puddings - my dear friend Sue made one years ago. Not only does one need to decant the molded bread structure out of a pudding basin without disaster, the fruit juices need to saturate that bread completely. The more juicy gravy you have, the better all round actually.

I decided to invest in a carton of blackberry smoothy. I slathered the bread slices in this as they went into the pudding basin.

I briefly simmered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a pan with sugar to release their juices, and then filled the pudding. Weighed down with a saucer, this overnighted in the fridge.

Decanted the next morning, I poured the rest of the juices and stewed fruits over the top, and this was the result:

I uploaded my photos to a group on photobucket, and awaited Anton’s judgement anxiously.

Maggie actually drove to Anton’s restaurant with the entries on her powerbook for Anton to judge:

Anton did a magnificent job judging, giving each entry perceptive and encouraging feedback. Maggie tweeted that Anton who'd never seen Twitter at work had to be dragged back to his kitchen by worried staff - he was in the middle of a massive wedding.

Finally, at 8pm, the news was announced: I was the winner! (read from bottom to top for the correct order - twitter idiosyncracy)

What top Chef Anton Edelman had to say about my pudding:

@edwardclarke "Shows technical ability,polish, beautifully photographed and looks scrumpcious"

I’m stunned. I think it’s the first time I’ve won anything in a competition. Hoorah again!

I had saved the pudding from the morning photoshoot, so we were all able to tuck into an award-winning pudding for dessert.

My prize is to the choose the next twitter tweetcookoff challenge. I am going for a fruit tart; the final is June 27th.

The cookoff twitter fun can be followed on the twitter hashtag #summerpudding.
All the entries can be seen at photobucket.
My summer pudding photos are in a set on flickr.
Benjamin Ellis has excellent coverage of the entire competition on his blog.
Next twitter cookoff competition: Summer Tart

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