Once more this is a dish that beginner cooks love to make – and cooks of every level love to eat. It is a thrill every time to see the sauce magically appear beneath the pudding!
Most of the preparation can be completed up to the point of adding the topping an hour or so before dinner. All the cook has to do is sprinkle on the topping and slip the dish into the oven for about 30 minutes while everyone enjoys their main course. If you make the batter ahead of cooking, don’t forget to preheat the oven 10 minutes before you put the pudding into the oven.
Ask for help when it comes to sliding out the oven rack to add the hot coffee to the topping. And don’t forget to set a timer!
Chocolate Self-saucing Pudding
Takes: 1 hour
- 125 g plain flour small pinch of salt
- ¼ cup castor sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa
- 90 g bittersweet chocolate
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla
For the topping
- ½ cup soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons strong coffee
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Butter a 1 litre ovenproof dish – choose a wide rather than a deep dish so every serve gets a good amount of pudding and sauce.
Sift the flour, salt, castor sugar, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and stir into the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk the milk, melted butter, egg and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix together. Pour the pudding batter into the prepared dish.
To make the topping, mix the sugar and cocoa in a small bowl and sprinkle over the pudding batter. Carefully mix the boiling water and the coffee in a jug.
Stand the dish on a baking tray to catch any drips and put it into the oven. If you have a sliding oven rack, pull it out now. Otherwise, ask someone to open the door and slide the rack and dish out for you. Pour the hot coffee evenly over the surface of the pudding.
Push the oven rack back into the oven, then close the door and set a timer for 35 minutes. The pudding will look puffed in the centre and feel firm when pressed with your fingertips when it is cooked. If it still feels wobbly in the centre bake for a further 10 minutes.
Serve the pudding and its delicious hidden sauce while it is hot. Offer pouring cream, and ice-cream, too, if you like.
● You could make this pudding in individual ovenproof pudding moulds that each hold about 150 ml. Individual puddings will probably be cooked in 15–20 minutes.
● Instead of chocolate chunks, you could substitute the same weight of chopped walnuts.
I have chosen to measure flour by weight rather than cups in this book, unless the result doesn’t depend on an exact amount. Precision is important when baking. Sometimes it is straightforward to convert a weight measurement to cups, but sometimes it is not and disappointment can follow. One cup of flour weighs 150 g.