Sunday, October 07, 2007

Useful Hot Chocolate Pudding

How can a chocolate pudding be useful? Well it is not so much that the pudding is useful (though its comforting quality could surely soothe a broken heart), but the recipe itself is a useful one to have tucked away for emergencies. Not that today was an emergency as such, but I didn't have much time to shop and had friends round for Sunday lunch. I was after a speedy, warming pudding that took minutes to make but delivered a touch of wow factor for the taste buds. Think a lovely moist sponge basking in a deliciously fudgey chocolate sauce.

This is the pudding. Its usefulness lies in the fact that you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard already. In fact, if you are craving something sweet to end the weekend, you could go and whip it up right away. Really. The preparation will take ten minutes maximum. I promise.

Let me tell you what else I love about this pudding...

1. It was the first pudding my mother taught me to make.
2. It reminds me of my childhood.
3. There is nothing pretty about it. A reminder that beauty is only skin deep. Beautiful desserts can sometimes promise much but deliver little in terms of taste.
4. It has a 'magic' quality to it. You may have come across these puddings before - you make the sauce on top and it miraculously sinks to the bottom on baking.
5. It smells divine.
6. It feels satisfyingly naughty and decadent.
7. Did I mention that it takes only 10 minutes preparation to make this pud?

Here is my mother's version of this recipe. I don't know where it came from, but there are versions everywhere. I also make a lemon version and Nigella has a sticky toffee version that I am keen to try.

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 1/2 oz self-raising flour
2 level tablespoons cocoa powder
2 level tablespoons drinking chocolate
1 1/2 oz margarine
3 oz caster sugar
5 tablespoons milk
vanilla essence(to taste - around 1 tsp)

For the sauce -
2 oz soft brown sugar
2 level tablespoons cocoa
2 level tablespoons drinking chocolate
1/2 pint boiling water

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Sift flour, cocoa and drinking chocolate into a bowl.

2. Cut margarine into small pieces and mix into the dry mixture with the sugar.

3. Add milk and vanilla essence (to taste) and mix well to form a fairly thick batter. Spread the batter into a greased 1 1/2 pint ovenproof dish.

4. Mix the dry sauce ingredients together and sprinkle over the top of the pudding batter.It looks a bit odd, but fear not!

5. Pour over the boiling water. It will now look even stranger but have faith!Bake in oven for 35 minutes - the liquid will sink to the bottom to create a lovely saucy layer. Serve with double cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, that does look amazing. I'm at home today and you're right, I do have all of those things in. Must. Not. Make. Chocolate. Pudding.

Antonia said...

Oh, go on - give in to the temptation!

Margaret said...

Wonderful. Not sure about Nigella's though. Thought I might never walk again after eating hers!

Gemma said...

Just wanted to say that your blog is wondeful, I came across it by chance and spent an entire day (when I should have been working) reading the entire thing. You write beautifully and kept me truly captivated with your delicious recipes and photographs so thank you.

Im intedning to make this at the weekend and had a query, do you think 'Options' hot chocolate would work or are skinny versions of drinking chocolate an absolute no go?

Thank you


Antonia said...

Hi Gemma,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my blog. Much appreciated and I'm now blushing furiously!

So pleased that you are going to make this lovely pudding - I'm afraid that I'm not sure about using Options as I haven't tried it myself. I would imagine that it would work in exactly the same way. I have always used Cadburys drinking chocolate. Whichever you decide, do let me know how it turned out!

Gemma said...

Hi Antonia,

Firstly, apologies for the typos in my last comment, I must double check these things. Secondly, I made this pudding for my flat mate at the weekend, it was superb! So easy and so decadent. We sat in bed watching a girlie film and gorged on the chocolately goodness with lots of cream. Mmmmm, delicious. I ate the leftovers for breakfast yesterday!