$11 Aldi product that’s ‘fooled’ experts
There's just 42 days left until Christmas.
But if you're already sweating about how much preparation you still need to do before the big day, you can tick "finding the best Christmas pudding" off your list, because the kind folk at Choice have done it for you.
The independent consumer advocacy group put 13 traditional fruit puds, from budget to high end, to a blind taste test - with two gold-dusted festive desserts from Aldi and Coles fighting it out for the prestigious top spot.
But it was budget supermarket Aldi's Luxury Golden Champagne Pudding that stole the show, scoring a huge 89 per cent after being assessed on a number of different qualities, such as price and quality of ingredients.
Aldi actually knocked Coles' Finest Luxury Pudding from the top of the leaderboard as it won the title last year, but this year scored a paltry 72 per cent.
"The Coles Finest Luxury Pudding, $12, has been winning fans for a few years already - it's a regal pudding infused with French brandy, topped with cherries, almonds and Valencian oranges, ready to dust with the sachet of sugared gold glitter," Choice said.
"But this year Aldi has come to the table with their own version, the Aldi Luxury Golden Champagne Pudding, $10.99, made with its own budget yet award-winning Veuve Monsigny Brut Champagne, also topped with cherries, and also with gold glitter for that touch of magic."
The 13 store-bought Christmas puddings were also rated on shape, weight and the balance of spice, fruit and alcohol flavours.
Getting down to the nitty gritty, it was declared that Coles was more "generous" with the fruit topping, while Aldi's offering held its shape better and didn't crumble when cut.
Many of the testers thought the Coles pudding was sweeter, which was why Aldi's scored a higher marking - and the $1.01 cheaper price tag helped too.
But if the lure of having a luxury Champagne infused dessert is what is tempting you, Choice warn you not to be "fooled" by Aldi's offering.
"You can't taste the Champagne - I think it's just a marketing gimmick, although the fruit could be marinated in it …" judge Alison Mutton said.
While Coles may have lost out in the traditional fruit pudding war, it seems they are more focused on modern takes on the traditional dessert.
"At Coles we develop products based on customer insights, feedback and loyalty," a Coles spokesperson told news.com.au, explaining product which was created several years ago has a loyal fan base and for that reason, the recipe hasn't changed.
"We have also developed the most amazing range of new puddings this year including our magical Finest Luxury Chocolate Melting Pudding which we encourage customers to try for something new."
In October, the Australian supermarket giant unveiled several puddings with exciting twists, which also featured the Coles Finest Chocolate Raspberry & Prosecco Sponge Pudding, $12.
However its $15 "melting" dessert is designed to be a table showstopper, consisting of a chocolate cake hiding under a tempered chocolate dome that is revealed once a warm caramel sauce is poured over the top. Talk about drama at your dining table.
"Coles Finest Chocolate Melting Pudding is exclusive to Coles and is a bit of theatre at the table," Coles chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson told news.com.au at the time.
Aldi has been contacted for comment.