We’re in for a cold spell this weekend in London. September was milder and drier than usual, but I think October will put us back in our place; show us who’s boss. With the cooler weather coming, it’s the perfect time for the puddings to come out. Not the American kind of pudding either; the British kind. The British are pretty keen on their puddings and some love the word so much that they’ll call any dessert ‘pudding’, even if they’re just having ice cream or cake.
Most puddings that I’ve seen are either steamed, the fruity, alcoholic Christmas kind that nobody actually likes or baked with a separate sauce made on the stove. This chocolate self-saucing pudding (probably most like a cobbler to Americans?) is a baked pudding, but has half the work taken out for you because the sauce makes itself in the same dish as the pudding. Mind. Blown! Right?
This recipe came from my mum, who’s going to be so stoked to get a mention two posts in a row! We used to beg mum to make this every chance we got. In fact, this might be the only dessert my brother (who was born without a sweet tooth) goes mental for. It’s his favourite and I think he’d probably still ask for this as his birthday cake if he lived at home. He’s getting married next year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he had a giant chocolate self-saucing pudding instead of a cake at the reception!
The trick to a perfect self-saucing pudding is to sift brown sugar and cocoa powder on top of the pudding batter and then carefully cover the entire thing with boiling water. The pudding comes out looking like a cake, but lurking underneath is the luscious chocolate sauce. My only advice is to let the pudding cool for 10-15 minutes before serving, because as it cools, the sauce thickens slightly and just gets so much better. Some like to serve it with pouring cream, others with ice cream. Me? I’m a simple kinda gal, I just keep it plain.
Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
¾ cup caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1¾ cups boiling water
- Preheat oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 23cm round casserole dish (I used 2.5L, 9cm deep Pyrex casserole dish, but a deep rectangular oven-proof dish of similar volume would work).
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add butter and milk. Heat, stirring, until butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Sift self-raising flour, caster sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in butter mixture. Stir until well-combined. Pour batter into prepared casserole dish.
- To prepare the sauce, sift brown sugar and cocoa powder on top of batter. Slowly and carefully pour boiling water over the back of a spoon onto the brown sugar and cocoa. It should completely cover the batter and sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes, until cooked through. A skewer inserted half-way into pudding should come out clean. Check pudding after 35 minutes, if top is starting to blacken, cover loosely with aluminium foil and put back in the oven until cooked through. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving, so that sauce thickens. Serve plain, with cream, custard or ice cream.