Chocolate makers bring Kentish Pudding Pie to Tunbridge Wells

Cocoa on the Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells
Cocoa on the Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells

Cocoa, a multi-coloured Citroën H van branded by chocolatiers Green & Black, has been hauled out of the garage and started a UK ‘Taste Tour’ trail taking in some of the country’s foodie towns. First stop was Tunbridge Wells, Kent before the van chugs north to York!

A dish of Kentish Pudding Pie
A dish of Kentish Pudding Pie

Promoting several new flavours of their bars including salted caramel on the trip through engaging with local tastes and recipes, the chocolate makers are modernising old and often forgotten recipes from the towns and cities they are visiting. In the historic Georgian-era street known as the Pantiles, passers-by- were tempted by bowls White Chocolate Kentish Pudding Pie, with Strawberry & Balsamic Compote. Although the dish itself was quite sweet, i rice pudding and strawberries it based on traditional recipe sometimes described as a cheese-cake, made with a raised crust, filled with custard and sprinkled with currants.

Serving up on the Taste Tour
Serving up on the Taste Tour

The following is taken from Green & Blacks’ Facebook page … see below for link: “Kentish Pudding Pie is a traditional recipe that has been baked across the county of Kent since the early 19th Century. Typically served around Lent to help ease the monotony of the restrictive diet, we’re confident that our indulgent, no-bake version will be enjoyed all year round.

Extra strawberry coulis, please!
Extra strawberry coulis, please!

Replacing the traditional pastry with a buttery biscuit base, our white chocolate and cardamom rice pudding is poured in to the pie case and left to set in the fridge. The fresh strawberry and balsamic compote has both the taste and colour to transform this in to a favourite pudding for the dinner table.

The pudding can be made at least a day in advance. We like to soak the raisins in a splash of sweet sherry for at least 2 hours before using (up to overnight), but this is entirely optional. We also recommend using the best quality balsamic vinegar that you can afford – ideally look for the ‘four leaf’ standard, which most supermarkets now stock, and is perfect for drizzling straight over your desserts or salads.”

New flavours up for grabs from Green & Blacks
New flavours up for grabs from Green & Blacks


Serves 8 to 10, in a 9” cake tin

Biscuit Base
500g Digestive biscuits
150g Unsalted butter

White Chocolate Rice Pudding
400g Arborio/pudding rice
2lt Semi skimmed milk
300ml Single cream
150g Caster sugar
50g Green & Black’s White chocolate
8 Green cardamom pods
100g Raisins
100ml Sweet sherry (optional)

Strawberry & Balsamic Compote
400g Fresh strawberries, halved
50g Caster sugar
A dash of good quality balsamic vinegar
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Whizz the biscuits in a food processor to a fine crumb.

Melt the butter and pour over the biscuits, mix together fully.

Line a 9” cake tin with a circle of grease-proof paper and fill with the biscuit base.

Spread the mixture along the base and up the sides of the tin, before pressing down firmly to form the base and walls of the pie.

Place in the fridge to chill and set.

Add the milk, rice and sugar to a saucepan and place on a medium heat.

Crush the cardamom pods open, and grind the seeds in a pestle and mortar.

Add to the rice pudding.

Once the pudding is simmering you will need to keep stirring to ensure it doesn’t catch (burn) on the base of the pan, gradually reducing the heat as it starts to thicken.

Cook until the rice is tender, and the mixture still runs from a spoon when poured.

If the mixture is too thick you may want to use extra milk to loosen, as it may set too much when cooled otherwise.

Remove from the heat and add the broken white chocolate and raisins, stir fully to combine.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture in to the pie case and leave to cool for an hour or so, before placing in the fridge to set.

Place the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over a medium heat.

Cook until the strawberries have softened and the juices have started to thicken in to a syrup.

Add a dash of balsamic vinegar to taste.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice to soften the sweetness and bring out the flavour of the strawberries. Leave to cool for a few minutes before placing in the fridge.

To serve remove the pie from the fridge 20 minutes before serving, and cut in to generous slices.

Serve with the strawberry compote, with the option of drizzling some extra balsamic vinegar over the top.

Click here for Green & Black’s Facebook page!

Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.