Monday, 21 May 2012

Hot and Saucy Chocolate Pudding

The first thing I should say about this cake is that it's easy to make. It is also verrrrry chocolatey! However, it's not a dainty or pretty cake. It's the sort of cake that's like the favourite jumper that you have hiding in the wardrobe that's a bit worn and bobbly in places but is coseeeeey. This cake is like that - it's basically a hug in cake form.

I'm not usually bossy about the way that you should serve cakes, but this cake really does require pouring cream or ice cream to sit alongside it - this cake is a thick chocolate sauce gloop-fest and it really needs something to help it along - mint ice cream is yummy with it, or you could do as I did and serve it with decent vanilla ice cream and some strawberries...

For the cake:
150g self-raising flour
25g good quality cocoa (I use Green and Black's)
200g caster sugar ( a lot I know, but it serves 6)
50g ground hazelnuts or almonds - choice is yours
75g dark chocolate buttons or good quality chocolate roughly chopped
180ml full cream milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
40g butter, melted
1 free range egg.

For the sauce:

180g dark muscavado sugar
120g good quality cocoa
500ml boiling water

Pre-heat oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas Mark 4.

1) Put all the dry ingredients for the cake together in a mixing bowl (flour, sugar, cocoa, ground nuts, chocolate pieces). Mix them together.

2) In a jug or separate bowl, whisk the milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and egg.

3) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

4) Pour the cake batter into a buttered souffle dish or deep sided oven-proof dish (about 20cm in diameter).

5) Mix the muscavado sugar and cocoa together, then sprinkle on top of the pudding.

6) Pour the boiling water on top of the sugar and cocoa coated cake. Resist the temptation to stir the water into the lumps of cocoa and sugar. It really will be fine - I know this is scary, but trust me, it works!

7) Transfer swiftly and carefully to the oven and bake for 35-40 mins. When checking the cake, the watery cocoa and sugar mix should have disappeared into the cake and the top of the cake should be firm and springy. Don't be alarmed by the cratery nature of the cake - that's the sort of cake this is.  A knife or skewer inserted into the cake should come out fairly clean, with no batter clinging to it.

Like I said, this is a thick woollen jumper of a cake, as opposed to a fine cashmere knit.
Whilst  it's not pretty, it tastes gooooood! 

8) Serve at once with chilled pouring cream or ice cream. Berries such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries can also come to the cake party if you like!

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