Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding is a classic dessert that everyone should know! One batter magically transforms into a moist chocolate cake with a beautiful chocolate sauce. Quick enough for a midweek treat, and a crowd pleaser for dinner parties.
It seems that this week was Comfort Food Week here on RecipeTin Eats and I missed the memo. My own memo. ?
When I was younger, I was so fascinated with self saucing puddings. I always thought they were magical. One batter transforming into a cake that looks so innocent when it comes out of the oven, then when you break into it – boom! Eyes light up at the sight of all that chocolate sauce!!!
I should qualify that statement actually, it’s a little more than one batter. But not much more! All it takes is sprinkling sugar + cocoa on top of the batter and pouring over hot water. This mixture then sinks to the base of the dish as it bakes, passing through the cake making it sooooo moist (I love this thought!), and it reduces down to become a sauce.
You see in the photo above how I am pouring the hot water over the back of a spoon? The purpose of this is to soften the fall of water onto the sugar topping, to try to keep the surface as even as possible so the surface of the pudding is as even as possible when it comes out of the oven.
I’m not an expert at this part. Also, my recipe uses a slightly higher water to sugar ratio than most classic recipes because I like to have a sauce that is actually a bit like sauce, rather than a thick sludge. Mind you, sludge still tastes fabulous! It’s just a matter of preference.
So because I use slightly more water, the top of my pudding is not as perfectly smooth. Less water = smoother surface = less sauce. 🙂
See? Here’s my sauce. It’s pourable. But thick, not watery. You can actually scrape some off the bottom of the baking dish and pour it over. ??
I’ve never been embarrassed by the nubbly top of my puddings but if I was, I’d just dust it with icing sugar.
The pudding really is cake-like so you could in fact slice it and serve it like cake, then use a spoon to drizzle each slice with the chocolate sauce.
But tradition is to use a spoon to serve Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding. Scoop out big dollops of it so you get cake and sauce in each spoonful. It doesn’t look as neat as slicing, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding is just made with cocoa powder, no chocolate. I’m sure there are richer versions around with the addition of chocolate chips. But the traditional way is so darn good, I have no urge to stray!
I like to serve pudding with ice cream or cream, and usually some fresh strawberries or other fruit, just to break it up and add a pop of colour.
Easy enough for midweek. And a crowd pleaser for company. I am totally and utterly in love with Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding! – Nagi x
- 1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed (175g) (Note 1)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened (30g) (Note 2)
- 1¼ cups boiling water
- 1 cup plain flour (all purpose flour) (150g)
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup caster sugar (110g) (ordinary white sugar ok)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened (30g) (Note 2)
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup milk (125ml)
- 50g / 4½ tbsp butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 170C/335F (standard) / 150C/305F (fan forced / convection).
- Grease a 5 - 6 cup baking dish with butter. (Note 3)
- Topping: Whisk brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl, set aside.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the butter and milk, then whisk in the egg and vanilla.
- Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until combined - it will be a thick batter.
- Spread into baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar / cocoa mixture. Shake gently to spread out thinly.
- Carefully pour the hot water over the back of a dessert spoon all over the top of the pudding - see photo in post or video below recipe. (Note 4)
- Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when poked lightly. The top will be a bit crusty, like the top of brownies.
- Remove from oven, stand for just a few minutes (no more!), then serve immediately. (Note 5)
2. Use Dutch Processed cocoa powder if you can. It's the up market cocoa powder, it's darker and has a more intense flavour. But normally I just use run of the mill cocoa powder.
3. 5 to 6 cups is around 1.25 - 1.5 litres / quarts. The dish pictured is 25 x 20 x 4.5 cm / 10 x 8 x 2.75". I often make this in a 20 x 20cm / 8 x 8" square pan or baking dish which yields a slightly thicker cake.
4. The purpose of pouring the water over the spoon as you pour it over the top of the pudding is to try to try to make the water pour gently onto the surface so you can a smooth surface. As you can see from my photos, I am hopeless at this and I have no shame about the nubbly surface of my pudding. In fact, I rather like it it - more crackly brownie-like bits!
5. The pudding needs to be served warm because the longer it stands, the more the sauce is absorbed into the cake and thickens up. Leftovers are lovely if reheated in the microwave because the chocolate becomes all melty again, but you don't get as much sauce as when it is made fresh.
I like to serve mine with ice cream or cream and strawberries. Sometimes I dust it with icing sugar / confectionary sugar to make it look prettier.
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6 servings.
Recipe video! And don’t worry, though you’ll see Dozer plodding over for a taste test, he didn’t get any. No chocolate for dogs!
LIFE OF DOZER
He hates floor-mopping day even more than I do because I make him wear socks while I enjoy the feeling of clean floors for a few hours….