Re-imagining the World One Mouthful at a Time . . . . .

Alice in Wonderland Bonkers Pud Inn

23 March 2014

missies-pud-inn-alice-in-wonderland-6missies-pud-inn-alice-all-puddings missies-pud-inn-alice-diners-1 missies-pud-inn-alice-diners-2 missies-pud-inn-alice-diners-3missies-pud-inn-alice-with-chefsOn Saturday 15th March I took 30 pudding enthusiast to a place called Wonderland (at the Rutland Arms) for a sweet adventure involving Sheffield puddings, connecting with our community and roots. With a mad pudding menu featuring chefs & makers from Endcliffe Park Cafe (EPIC), The Rutland Arm’s talented Chef Mike, Cossack Cuisine, Anna & Chef Lee of Silversmiths & Emily Cassiday capturing the Wonderland experience in their own unique way, this was bound to be a mad tea party! Missie’s Pud Inn Club invite five of Sheffield’s finest chefs & makers and challenge them to create one pudding to fit with the event’s theme (every theme is different), held in the fantastic Rutland Arms. Previous lineup featured chefs from The Showroom, Nonna’s, Yee Kwan Ice Cream and the Broadfield.

Planning Alice Pud Inn was interesting. I really wanted it to be a little different and whimsical. I have been fond of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland since I was younger, and really enjoyed the Tim Burton version of it as well. I stuck to a very bold, colourful and a Queen of Hearts colour palette, and I think it turned out beautifully. Most of the decor was vintage teacups, bunting made from large playing cards, tiny bottles and keys, and it looked like some diners enjoyed (well, attempted) flamingo croquet too, whilst we took turns peering “through the looking epic pudding glass,” a crazy first pudding course made by Chef Epic at Endcliffe Park Cafe.

Alice in Wonderland Pud Inn Club 2014First course was the Mad Hatter’s EPIC looking through the glass terrine made by Endcliffe Park Cafe. Here’s what Ashley from EPIC said about his course “As a modern day Mad Hatter I wanted to put a psychedelic twist on the tea party. Glass tea cups with layered multi-coloured jelly and sweet random surprises from top to bottom, my favourite. Think how beautiful they looked when the light shone through them, a technicolor tea time treat….” – and they were a very impressive way to start the afternoon Ashley! The colours were beautiful and the retro sweets definitely took me back to my childhood days.

missies-pud-inn-alice-course-2amissies-pud-inn-alice-course-2Next up was course 2, Chef Mike’s ‘The Queen’s Army’ – sweetened puff pastry sandwiched together with vanilla and white chocolate custard. Chef Mike tells us a little about his pudding course: “I chose the army as they had always been my favourite characters from the film. I was aiming to have the ‘soldiers’ face down the same as they become when Alice approaches them in the book half way through painting the roses red, however I hadn’t given myself enough time for the chocolate to set along with the white chocolate custard which resulted (I think) in poor presentation, if I was to change anything the preparation would have all been done the night before” – Thanks Mike, in our books, those packs of sweet cards were ready for demolishing asap. Fantastic presentation, like always!

Alice in Wonderland Pud Inn Club 2014Alice in Wonderland Pud Inn Club 2014Now it was time for Cossack Cuisine’s Leeza Murina to serve up her gorgeous Wonderland surprise – a delightful moist sponge with fresh strawberries and a fruit mousse finished with fresh cream and a massive EAT ME written on the top (taking us to a Russian-inspired Wonderland). I’m happy to say I’ve had Leeza participate in Pud Inn a couple of times, and it’s always lovely seeing her and Steven, Leeza’s freshly made cakes always go down a treat with diners. Steven from Cossack Cuisine tells me that Leeza loves the challenge of making a new cake creation to match the Pud Inn theme of the event and thoroughly enjoys the buzz around the room in anticipation of the next pudding course! (thanks for the feedback Steve).

Alice in Wonderland Pud Inn Club 2014Alice in Wonderland Pud Inn Club 2014

Next up was our very own un-birthday cake made by Apprentice Pastry Chef Anna and Head Chef Lee Simon Mangles from Silversmiths. I couldn’t stop looking at it… needless to say I didn’t want to cut it up… but we did and tasted GOOD! Chef Lee and Anna also served some amazing delicious rhubarb bellinis in test tubes (great idea!)…people are still discussing how good everything tasted. Here’s what Chef Lee said about his course – “Anna and myself decided to make the Alice cake so that we could incorporate all of the themes from the film, we made a carrot, chocolate and Victoria sponge with lemon curd and jam, Anna had the task of making the fondant figures and I garnished the cakes, it was a long process, but was well worth it, hopefully that is also the thought of the diners. There were no problems in the making or designing of the cake, apart from when Alice lost her head (and that probably to do with the rhubarb bellini!)” – Anna is so talented! I’m jealous of her wonderful ability to make it look like a piece of art.

Alice in Wonderland Pud Inn Club 2014We had fruit tea and macarons to round off the afternoon. Taylors of Harrogate’s fruit tea were a perfect way to cleanse the palette, and the macarons made by Emily Cassiday, gave the final course a dose of Pud Inn sophistication. With a choice of chocolate, almond, or raspberry and more, these were great. Chewy with a crisp outer shell & a delicious plump scoop of filling, these were tasty and very generously filled (I could eat macarons all afternoon!) – many thanks Emily!

I loved all of the different Alice in Wonderland puddings and elements from the party. There were so many (sweet) ideas, and such a fun and crazy vibe with all of the fantastic details. I love all of the cute Alice In Wonderland outfits diners came in and character ideas they all bought to the event, for instance the homemade treats for the tasting’s table were all so in tune with the story. This Pud Inn party would be perfect for either a birthday, un-birthday party, or an Alice In Wonderland Tea Party ~ and we certainly had all three! Pud Inn is a real testament to imagination, intuition and creativity from local food neighbours. I’m looking forward to planning the next one, it’s going to be EPIC!

missies-pud-inn-alice-course-ashley missies-pud-inn-alice-diners-2missies-pud-inn-alice-diners-6missies-pud-inn-alice-diners-4{All photos courtesy of all our lovely diners – Jo Hardiman, Clare Farmer, Carol Greene, Tracey Howe, Hannah Walker, Ashley Charlesworth. Thank you for sharing your Pud Inn snaps – there are more photographs of the event on our facebook page here} – Missie Cindz x

Missie Cindz