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I never know whether to be pleased or impressed when I find I know a recipe by heart. On the one hand, it’s nice to know I can remember stuff. When entirely failing to learn screeds of organic chemistry, it’s good to be reminded that stuff does go in there. On the other hand, it is clearly evidence that I’ve made something too often.
That is definitely the case with this pudding. I’ve just put it in the oven for the second night running, and to be honest, though slightly embarrassed, have no regrets.

This pudding is excellent. Last night, I made it in the time it took the pasta to cook. Tonight, I adapted it to be dairy free, to take to the house of a lactose intolerant friend. Despite using very ordinary and easy ingredients, it comes out mouth-wateringly decedent, like a hot molten chocolate brownie, swimming in its own sauce. It can also be made in ten minutes. What could be better?

The recipe comes (though adapted) from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course.

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

50g white sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

50g semolina

1 teaspoon baking powder

50g cocoa powder

25g butter, melted, or vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

75g soft brown sugar

275mL hot water

Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius, and grease a 1L loaf tin/ baking dish.

Sift or mix the white sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, semolina, and 25g of the cocoa powder. Beat in the butter/oil, the eggs, and the vanilla. Pour into the greased tin/dish.

Mix the rest of the cocoa powder, the brown sugar into the water, and pour on top of the pudding.

Bake until it has risen, and is firm in the middle. Test with a knife to ensure it is cooked (it will be soft and squidgy but not runny – think brownie mix!). Times for this will vary, so it is best to keep an eye on it; Delia suggests 30 minutes, I found it took more like 40-45.

Remove, and cool for a few minutes. It is extremely rich, so pair well with a creamy greek yoghurt, whipped cream, or a not-too-sweet vanilla icecream.

Delia adds walnuts to the mixture, I added hunks of dark chocolate. This is a robust recipe, so play around! I can also imagine it being good with cloves, grated orange zest etc. etc.

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