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Five tasty alternatives to Christmas puddings

For those who aren't fans of stodgy, alcoholic tradition - try these, says Edward Dracott

Whether it's the cocktail of currants hidden inside, the burning alcohol poured on top, or due to its vulgar stodge, not everyone is a fan of Christmas pudding.

For those of you who place chocolate, toffee or caramel before raisins, however, there is another way to unwind after your turkey.

Here, are some alternatives for you to enjoy in place of the traditional festive dessert.

1. The Collection Melting Belgian Chocolate & Toffee Sponge Pudding, £15, Marks & Spencer

With a thin chocolate dome collapsing under the hot toffee as you pour it on, this beautiful centrepiece makes an event of dessert and a fitting stand-in for the lighting of the Christmas pudding. You would be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn't like this sweet mix of toffee, sponge and chocolate, especially with a dollop of cream - ice, double or otherwise - to cut through its richness.

Our verdict: 8/10

2. Chocolate Brownie Christmas Pudding Cake, £12, Marks & Spencer

If you have young kids, or would like to feel like one, look no further than this magical imposter. In the guise of the traditional festive pudding is hidden decadent layers of moist brownie, with golden chocolate buttons at its core. Cutting into this cake will put a smile on your face and tucking in will leave chocolate-lovers feeling as jolly and full in front of the TV as their traditionalist counterparts.

Our verdict: 9/10

3. Luxury Salted Caramel Chocolate Yule Log, £15, Marks & Spencer

Nowhere will you see a yule log as extravagant and lavish as this. A combination of the fudge-like chocolate frosting and soft sponge make this an absolute treat, and it's a good size too. The ends are flanked by solid chocolate walls, but with only two to go around, don't worry if you end up with a middle piece, as the body of the log is scattered with chocolate balls of joy, as well as shards of, you guessed it, more chocolate. The addition of gold dust to this pudding tells you everything - if it's luxury you're after, look no further.

Our verdict: 9/10

4. Belgian Chocolate & Dulce de Leche Melt in the Middle Pudding, £8, Sainsbury's

You can never have too much caramel and this rich offering packs a sticky and gooey treasure trove of Dulce de Leche goodness, which floods rather than oozes out of it. Topped with sparkly gold glitter and a melting middle, it's the perfect pudding for a festive Instagram.

Our verdict: 9/10

5. Classic Italian Panettone, £5.50, Sainsbury's

This could just be the underrated hero of Christmas. The generous helping of candied orange peel and sultanas makes for a splendidly fruity effort and one that doesn't skimp on flavour. No unnecessary extras and no bells and whistles attached, but it hardly needs them and offers good value for money.

Our verdict: 7.5/10

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