Luxury pudding firm shortlisted for national food award

An award-winning baking business is celebrating after securing a place on the shortlist in the national final of delicious. magazine’s inaugural Produce Awards.

Burtree Puddings, based near Darlington beat off some tough competition to make it through to the finals with its Sticky Toffee Pudding and Sticky Toffee Sauce.

The family-run company is one of nine from the North East category in the awards set up by the monthly food magazine to celebrate the nation’s food producers.

Launched as a farm diversification project in 2000 by Lea and Robert Darling, the business now supplies a number of outlets including farm shops, delis and food stores across England, Scotland and Wales.

Lea Darling, partner at Burtree Puddings along with husband Robert, said: “Being shortlisted for the delicious. Produce Awards is massive for us. As a small company that believes in making delicious puddings from the best ingredients, we are always humbled when our products are recognised as one of the best out there.

“It’s also a great opportunity for us to present our products to food lovers around the country. Fingers crossed the judging panel like our puddings as much as our customers do.”

Robert and Lea Darling of Burtree PuddingsLea makes the Sticky Toffee Puddings, winner of six Great Taste awards including Supreme Champion in 2005, by hand in small batches in the Darling family’s farmhouse kitchen, using local free-range eggs, British butter and organic double cream and milk from a neighbouring farm.

“A great deal of attention to detail and excellent ingredients are used to make the puddings so they come to you as though you had made a single one yourself at home, and we feel this is part of our success,” Lea added.

In the first round, the regional panel of judges commented on the family’s ‘real passion for puds’ and were impressed by the commitment to their product and the provenance of the ingredients.

The national final of the Awards took place in mid-July when chefs including Theo Randall, Peter Gordon, food writer Sophie Grigson and broadcaster Prue Leith CBE sat on the panel to decide the winners.

Editor Karen Barnes said: “Our team of expert regional judges assessed entries from some of the finest food producers in the UK. The standard was extraordinarily high, and it was a tough job deciding who would go through to the finals.

“The reputation of UK food has come so far over the past 10 years – these are exciting times – and delicious. is committed to honouring the hard work, commitment and passion of the people who produce that outstanding food.”

The results will be announced in the October issue of delicious. magazine due to be released on October 1st.