Saturday, May 11, 2013

Magic chocolate pudding

This week I went hunting for a half-remembered recipe - the magic self-saucing pudding. You mix it all up together and while it bakes, the cakey part rises to the top, leaving gooey sauce underneath. My own favourite version of this is the lemon one, best known as lemon delicious. But this time it had to be chocolate for my houseguest, who thinks that if dessert's not chocolate, it's not really dessert. I found exactly what I wanted on page 74 of Alexa Johnston's collection of old-fashioned desserts, What's for Pudding? Just one grumble: why oh why do designers think it's a good idea to put the list of ingredients - and in this case the page numbers as well - in pale coloured type that's really hard to read?

Chocolate fudge pudding (slightly adapted from What's for Pudding)
For the pudding:
1 c (125g) flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp cocoa
pinch salt
3/4 c (150g) sugar ("a mixture of brown and white is a good idea")
1/2 c (125g) full-cream milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp (30g) butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c chopped walnuts or chopped chocolate (I used a bar of very dark German chocolate which is too bitter to eat, but wonderful to bake with)

- Preheat oven to 180C. Butter a fairly shallow ovenproof dish that holds about 4 cups (1 litre).
(In fact the dish I used was a bit too shallow - a deeper one, about 8 cm, would let more sauce collect under the cakey top.)
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Mix through the sugar.
- Melt the butter in a glass jug in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Stir in the milk and vanilla essence.
- Pour onto the dry ingredients, with the beaten egg, and mix until smooth.
- Stir in the walnuts or chocolate.

For the topping:
4 Tbsp cocoa
3/4 c (150g) brown sugar
1 and 1/2 c hot water

- Spread the batter evenly in the ovenproof dish. Sift the cocoa evenly over the top, followed by the brown sugar.
- Pour the hot water carefully over, completely covering the mixture. (The best way to do this is to hold a tablespoon or larger serving spoon over the mixture and pour the hot water slowly and gently into the spoon, moving the spoon around over the mixture, so that the water spreads evenly over it all without displacing it.)
- Bake for about 1 hour until the topping is firm to the touch and the pudding smells cooked. 

The magic at work - that's a macaroni cheese underneath.

As you can see, mine didn't look wonderful, as some of what should have been the sauce stayed stubbornly in the middle of the top (that too-shallow dish was the problem, I think). But there was absolutely nothing wrong with the taste. Alexa says "Serve with cream", but we ate ours with ice-cream - I love the contrast of hot and cold. My guest was ecstatic. With a bit of supervision, children could make this for Mother's Day tomorrow...



Rosa said...

I used to make this for dessert heaps when I was a kid. And totally agree about the hot/cold contrast - ice-cream is much better with this kind of pud than cream. :-)

Domestic Executive said...

This sounds delicious and reminds me of a chocolate pudding my mum used to make.

Christina Grill said...

My Mum would make a thin chocolate sauce to add over the cooled cake....and I would add french vamilla ice cream over the top of THAT! :)