Chocolate self-saucing pudding

It’s cold and wet in Adelaide. After an extended warm autumn that seemed to last until well through May, at last winter has arrived. In my house, winter means fires and soups and stews and pudding. Extra food to keep our bodies going in the cold, and extra comfort for the dreary days.

My girls love chocolate self-saucing pudding. So do I, because it’s very, very easy to make, and the ingredients can be assembled a little ahead of time, then quickly mixed together and the pudding put into the oven just before I start doing the last minute prep for the meal and getting the girls to set the table. 45 minutes later, the pudding is cooked and ready to eat, usually a few minutes after we have finished eating and clearing the first course.

First, assemble two sets of ingredients. In one bowl, mix together 2/3 cup of brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. It’s a good idea to sift the cocoa powder. to get any lumps out of it. This mix of brown sugar and cocoa powder will become the sauce. Sometimes I add a pinch of salt, to round out the flavour of the sauce. Set the sugar and cocoa mix aside.

In another, larger bowl, mix together 1 cup of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder (substitute 1 cup of self-raising flour for the plain flour and baking powder if you like), 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons full of cocoa powder. Again, it’s a good idea to sift the cocoa powder and the flour and baking powder. Set the flour and cocoa and sugar mix aside.

Melt 60 grams of butter, and set it aside.

Beat together one egg and 1/2 cup of milk and set aside. I usually just use a fork to beat the egg and milk mix: the idea is to beat it until the egg is broken up and thoroughly mixed through the milk, not to get it light and fluffy as you would for a sponge cake. Again, set the mix aside.

And last of all, grease your baking dish. I use a 2-litre (about 3.5 pints) pyrex casserole dish, with high sides.

All these ingredients can sit on your kitchen bench for a while. All day would not be sensible, given the milk and egg, but they should be fine for up to an hour or so, ‘though you may want to put the milk and egg mix in the fridge if you do this.

Make sure you start your oven warming so that you have it at 170 degrees Celsius when the pudding goes in (that’s about 350 Fahrenheit). When you are ready to start assembling the pudding, put the kettle on, because you will need 1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water. Then, stir the milk and egg, and the melted butter into the flour, cocoa and sugar mix. When the batter is smooth, pour it into the casserole dish. Don’t try to spread it to the edges: you want it to sit in the middle of the baking dish, leaving space for the sauce around the side. Sprinkle the cocoa and sugar mix over the top, reasonably evenly, and then carefully pour 1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water over the whole thing. Don’t just slosh the water in – try to pour it slowly and evenly, so all of the cocoa and sugar mix gets wet.

Into the oven it goes, for about 40 to 45 minutes, or maybe a little longer, depending. If you are using a small baking dish, it may be worth putting a baking slide under the dish, to catch any drips. The pudding is ready when it feels firm and cakey, and there is a rich chocolate sauce bubbling at the side. Be careful if you test the pudding’s readiness with your finger: the sauce burns!

I let it sit for a few minutes, so that the sauce thickens up, and the pudding cools a little. Then I dust it with icing sugar, and serve it with thickened cream. It’s delicious. My girls usually lick their bowls clean.

This recipe makes enough for all five of us to have a good sized serving, and there’s still enough left for the first person up the next morning to have the leftovers for breakfast. You could serve up to eight people, especially if you added icecream on the side. If you are only cooking for a couple of people, then the recipe can be halved quite successfully. However it’s a little difficult to get half an egg. I use a whole egg – the smallest one I have on hand – and 3 tablespoons (45ml) of milk.

Puddings spell comfort to me. I have fond memories of a glorious steamed pudding that friends made one night when I was staying with them in Canberra, served with runny custard and cream. I had two helpings. My mother used to make us “Children’s Favourite Syrup Pudding” and hot fruit sponges, to warm us up in cold and wet Taranaki winters. The food of love.

What puddings do you make and love?

Cross posted

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17 responses to “Chocolate self-saucing pudding

  1. Thank you for this. I know what I’ll be doing tonight.
    Although we all prefer the summer it’s food like this and other wintery things, like the smell of wood smoke on a crisp and chilly evening, that makes you realise that these darker and colder months aren’t really that bad. :-)

  2. I love this! I’m going to try and halve it as you suggest.

    My favourite is Lemon Delicious., that lemon pudding that makes a spongy base and saucy top. I use Alison Holst’s recipe. Mmmm-mmm!

  3. Yumm ! I’m contemplating cooking sticky date pudding for tomorrow night.

  4. I make chocolate self saucing pudding often. Whenever I have people over for dinner, usually for my amaaazing roast chicken, I end up cooking what I call Mum’s chocolate pudding.

    Not because I particularly want to, but because my friends won’t accept anything else. Even when i tart it up with, like, white chocolate mint cream, they don’t much care.

    The problem is, I now want it. Which means I am going to have to cook for people soon. I couldn’t possibly make it just for myself. Could I?

  5. Instead of sprinkling dry ingredients, I find it simplest to pour the boiling water onto the sugar/cocoa mix in a pyrex jug, then pour the whole caboodle over the top. Saves any sprinkling clottage.

    This pudding microwaves well, if you are running short of time.

  6. I’m originally a South Australian too and have been eating my Gran’s recipe all my life (now 55).

    It is essentially the same as yours but substitute a short black or two for some of the water for the sauce (my discovery – not my Gran’s) – Fantastic !!!

  7. Raymond A Francis

    Pudding, steamed ones are great for filling kids up. Our boys learnt to cook making the chocolate self-saucing
    My favourites are a couple of tweaked steamed ones
    Dainty is the name in the book but I make it with glace cherries
    And another that used to have golden syrup but is now coconut pudding with real maple syrup
    Dad spent time in Canada during the war so we all have a waffle presses and a can of real maple syrup in our homes
    Hardly worth the trouble now that there is only two of us in the house but both are great cold

  8. I love bill granger’s Banana butterscotch pudding. Easy peasy and yummy.

  9. Rhubarb crumble!! I now use the crumble recipe out of Steph too.

  10. I tried the banana butterscotch pudding this evening, Stef, and it got rave reviews from junior members of the household. It was a little sweet for me – even though I doubled the amount of banana and halved the amount of sweet sauce poured on top.
    I don’t make puddings very often – we just don’t need the extra calories on a regular basis. But I do love soups and stews and my big red cast iron casserole seems to be constantly in use. Leek, bacon and potato soup is our consistent favourite.

  11. Carol – care to share that soup recipe with us?

  12. Gladly!
    Leek, bacon and potato soup

    2 leeks, washed, topped and thinly sliced
    1 onion, finely diced
    2 cloves garlic, crushed with a little sea salt
    6 large potatoes (Agrias, if you can get ‘em), scrubbed, peeled and cubed (approx 1 cm cubes)
    250 grams good quality bacon (bacon pieces are OK)
    Water or chicken stock, home made if possible
    A lug of olive oil or a knob of butter

    You will need a reasonably big heavy bottomed soup pot – the aforementioned cast iron casserole is around 4 litres capacity.

    Method:
    Saute the onion in the olive oil/butter over low to medium heat until soft; add the garlic, bacon and leeks and continue to gently fry until slightly golden. Be careful not to burn them at this stage. Increase the heat a little and add the cubed potato along with some seasoning (a pinch of sea salt and a good grind of black pepper). Give the mixture a good stir and allow to fry a little longer.
    Add water or stock until the mixture is well-covered then simmer gently until the potatoes are tender (around half an hour, but it doesn’t hurt to leave it to cook for an hour).
    At this stage, if you have a stick blender you can partially blend it to make it thicker, though I quite like it as is.
    Serve with crusty bread rolls and maybe a sprinkle of parsley.
    Bon appetit!

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  14. Nomnom! Thanks I’ll try this :-)

  15. Oh nice, very nice. I will definitely try this.

  16. hellonhairylegs

    Thanks for the recipe, I bookmarked it for the winter! Looks delicious :D

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