Serves: 8-10 - Time:
The best thing about foul weather is the excuse it gives you to batten down the hatches and create a fug in the kitchen, cooking good old-fashioned comfort food. Christmas pudding aside, I can’t remember the last time I steamed a pudding but unmoulding this dense, dark dome took me straight back to my childhood when these sorts of puddings were commonplace. Delicacy, finesse and a deft hand are important in cooking but sometimes a bowl, wooden spoon and ingredients you can find in your corner shop are just what is needed to sustain you. May I suggest serving pouring cream or some vanilla ice cream alongside the velvety chocolate sauce.
- 160g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons Steenberg's pumpkin spice mix or a mix of ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground allspice
- Pinch of salt
- 175g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 180g soft light muscovado sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 70g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger preserve
- For the sauce
- 400ml double cream
- 200g plain chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
- 30g unsalted butter
- 50g soft light muscovado sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- Sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, spice and salt into a bowl and set aside. Generously grease a 1.5 litre pudding basin with butter.
- Cream the butter and sugar together for at least five minutes until really fluffy and pale. Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time to prevent curdling. Beat in the flour mixture along with the milk so the batter is a smooth dropping consistency. Stir in the chopped chocolate and ginger preserve. Spoon into the prepared pudding basin and cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper, secured with string.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of a large saucepan and fill to a third with boiling water. Carefully lower the basin onto the trivet. Cover with a lid and steam for 1 hour 30-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding comes out clean.
- While the pudding is cooking make the sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth. Set aside (you can warm it through just before serving).
- Once the pudding is cooked lift the basin out of the saucepan and unwrap. Run a knife around the edge of the sponge to loosen. Place an inverted serving plate on top of the pudding basin then turn both plate and basin over. Spoon over about one third of the sauce and serve the rest in a jug along with some pouring cream.