• Baked chocolate pudding

    The Epicurean doesn't understand how this deserts gets this fantastic. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    As far as desserts go, this is one of the easiest I’ve come across. ‘This is nuts!’ I gasped when my friend Martha showed me this recipe a few weeks ago. Honestly, it uses methods that I just do not understand, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, more literally here than ever before.

    It’s a fantastic dessert when you’re entertaining, because you can make it a few minutes before your guests arrive and then put it in the oven an hour before you’re ready to eat it. It’s warm, comforting and has a rich, chocolate taste, with a soft, gooey interior and crispy top – an all-round winner, in fact.

    Warm milk

    Start by heating the milk gently in a small pan with the cardamom pods (but be careful not to bring it to the boil) and let it cool back down to room temperature. This infuses the milk with the cardamom flavour. You can then discard the pods. Alternatively, and if you do not have cardamom, you can use a couple of pinches of ginger powder or cayenne pepper. In that case, heating the milk is not necessary.


    Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (cocoa, baking powder and salt) and whisk to distribute them evenly. Then add the butter, milk, vanilla and sugar, and stir to ensure they combine well.

    Take a ceramic soufflé dish, around 20cm across and 10cm deep (or a similarly-sized bowl), and butter the inside liberally. Spread the pudding batter evenly inside the dish.

    When you are ready to bake the pudding, thoroughly whisk the topping ingredients in a bowl and pour over the batter. Bake in an oven preheated at 160°C for approximately an hour, or until the top is crusty and the pudding still wobbles slightly. Allow it to cool down for five minutes and serve it warm with whipped cream or a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

    photo: Jeroen van Kooten

    Interested? Then print the text version of this recipe!