How to add a sensational flourish to your festive feast? From ultra-luxe Christmas puddings to hand-decorated chocolate masterpieces, food & wine editor Emma Sleight introduces her favourite wow-factor desserts
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a brandy-soaked pudding filling the room with the scent of warm spice and singed orange peel. This year we’ve worked with Christmas pudding makers Matthew Walker, who’ve been making the festive desserts for more than 100 years, to create the Collection Shooting Star Marc de Champagne Pudding.
Using raisins and sultanas from Turkey, Vostizza currants from Greece and cherries soaked in champagne, these puddings are retort-cooked (sealed so the flavours are locked in) and hand-decorated with edible gold lustre. Pour the accompanying cherry and champagne sauce on top so it oozes down the specially-shaped curves to create a glistening star.Order now
Every year, our dedicated team of dessert makers and testers create sweet masterpieces that are almost (but not quite) too pretty to eat, such as this delicate Christmas Star. Hand-finished and hand-decorated, this festive centrepiece is created by covering feather-light almond sponge with sumptuously smooth prosecco mousse and layers of strawberry compote.
The Baroque-inspired star also has a surprise citrus twist – slice through the hand-lustred star points and white-chocolate top to reveal hidden pockets of fragrant limoncello mousse and rich lemon curd. It’s a great alternative for discerning dinner guests.Order now
When you picture M&S food, chances are you’re thinking about that seductive fondant with lashings of dark chocolate sauce that made the 2003 TV advert a viral sensation. This year, the signature pudding has been given a festive revamp in the form of the Chocolate and Orange Melting Middle Pudding.
Indisputably my favourite dessert of the season, this deliciously dark, all-butter chocolate fudge cake hides something extra special at its heart: a molten-gold centre of sparkling orange sauce. It even comes with a sachet of gold lustre dust to sprinkle over the top for a final flourish.Order now
Christmas puddings aren’t for everyone, which is why we work with our clever patisserie chefs to craft magical desserts that will delight and intrigue big and little kids alike, such as this beautiful Chocolate and Raspberry Christmas Tree.
The edible tree is filled with rich, smooth Belgian chocolate mousse, set in bespoke, specially-designed moulds and layered with slivers of crisp chocolate, wafer-thin sponge and sharp-sweet raspberry compote, and all topped off with hand-lustred stars and baubles.Order now