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Steamed chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce

This is a Sunday lunch favourite, so light and airy, almost soufflé-like and very moist. You could, if you like, just serve it with well-chilled pouring cream, but cream and chocolate sauce mingling together over the hot pudding is probably the best of all options. Steamed puddings have always been a British thing and, if there is one positive aspect to recession, it’s when economy drives us back to our roots of home cooking. It’s then we discover that less sometimes really is more, and that an evocative old-fashioned steamed pudding can give the ubiquitous crème brûlées et al a run for their money. The chocolate sauce ingredients may seem a little unusual, but they really do make the easiest and best chocolate sauce I’ve ever tried.

 
 
 Steamed chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce

  Serves 6

Ingredients
 110g dark cooking chocolate (85%)
 150g fresh white breadcrumbs (made in a processor)
 25g ground almonds
 25g golden caster sugar
 225ml milk
 200ml half-fat crème fraîche
 ½ tsp vanilla extract
 3 large very fresh eggs
For the chocolate sauce
 170g tin evaporated milk
 2 tbsp milk
 225g dark cooking chocolate (55
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Equipment

You will also need a 1.2 litre pudding basin, very well buttered, and a steamer.

Method

First of all break the chocolate into squares and place them in a small saucepan together with the milk, vanilla extract and sugar, and melt them over a gentle heat, giving it a whisk from time to time. When it is all melted and blended together, take the pan off the heat and whisk in the crème fraîche. Now in a bowl combine the breadcrumbs and ground almonds, then pour in the chocolate mixture and give it all a good stir.

Next separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the chocolate mixture. The egg whites should be whisked with an electric hand-whisk till they form stiff peaks. Now you need a large metal spoon to fold the whites carefully into the rest of the mixture. Next pile it into the prepared basin, then cover with a double square of foil with a pleat in the middle and twist it all around the rim. Steam the pudding for exactly one hour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by simply placing the squares of chocolate in a bowl with the evaporated milk and the milk, then put the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and allow the contents to melt, whisking from time to time until smooth and blended. To serve: slide a palette knife around the edge of the pudding and invert it on to a serving plate. Serve in slices with cream and chocolate sauce to pour over.

 

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