Chocolate puddle pudding

This is a rich chocolate pudding, which makes its own sauce when cooked and rises like a chocolate sponge island in a syrupy chocolate sea. Your mother probably made chocolate puddle pudding. I’ve been asking around, and everybody’s mother seems to have had a similar recipe – and what sensible mothers they were, because this is rich and delicious, malevolently chocolatey and so quick and easy that my cats could make it (given opposable thumbs, the ability to read recipes and access to some weighing scales, an oven, bowls and…you get the idea). To serve six, you’ll need:

6 tablespoons cocoa powder
150 g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200 g vanilla sugar (or 200g caster sugar and a few drops vanilla essence)
30 g salted butter
75 g dark chocolate (use something with a high proportion of cocoa solids)
150 ml milk
150 g soft brown sugar
500 ml hot water

Preheat the oven to 180Ā° C (350Ā° F).

Measure the flour and vanilla sugar into a large mixing bowl with two tablespoons of the cocoa powder and the baking powder. Melt the butter and chocolate together, and when melted, add them to the bowl with the milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is well blended, and spread the mixture (which should be a thick paste) into the bottom of a baking dish. (I used a 20×30 cm dish.)

Mix the soft brown sugar with the remaining four tablespoons of cocoa, and sprinkle them over the top of the sponge mixture. Pour over the hot water (this should be hot from the kettle but not boiling) and put in the oven for 45 minutes. The sponge pudding will rise through the puddle of chocolate sauce. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a big dollop of cream.

33 Replies to “Chocolate puddle pudding”

  1. My mother always made lemon puddle pudding, it was very good but I did wonder if it would also work with other flavours. Guess some experimentation is required

  2. Anon – I am also having vague memories of a lemon version, but I’m pretty sure it involved beaten egg-whites. I will ask pressing questions of my Mum next time I see her.

    Just had an email from a friend saying: “Anna just made a puddle and I nearly died.” Quite.

  3. The lemon thing you’re thinking of, GSE, is Sussex Pond. It’s not quite the same – it’s a steamed suet sponge with a whole lemon in the middle, which leaks wetly when you cut it open. There’s a Wikipedia page on it if you want a squizz.

  4. Beef fat, traditionally, although these days it’s pretty hard to find beef suet; you’re more likely to find vegetarian stuff (Atora and so on) made from palm oil and other unspeakable additions which make it behave in a suety fashion.

    Beef suet is usually refined from the fat around the kidneys, and it doesn’t taste obnoxiously beefy. It’s worth going to the extra effort to find it if you’re making something with suet, because the texture you get with the veggie stuff is just not the same; I also prefer the taste in things like mince pies and Christmas pud (or steak and kidney pie, obviously).

  5. I’ve been following your blog for a couple of weeks and love it! Made the Puddle Pudding last night for the parents and it was be-you-tiful. I didn’t have any soft brown so I used muscavado sugar and the extra-cooked edges went all chewy and treacly tasting – delicious. I am now ‘favourite daughter’ this week, so thanks Liz šŸ˜‰

  6. Glad you chaps enjoyed it. Given the euphoric emails I’ve been receiving about this recipe alongside these comments, I clearly need to do more chocolatey stuff. You people are *ruining* my pancreas.

  7. Oh my!!! I am an American expat bride, a very old one. And this recipe is similar to one I have made for years in the US. In fact, I have been thinking about it recently, but – alas – my recipe, called “Denver Chocolate Pudding” is back in my old Fannie Farmer Cookbook which I have yet to bring over from America. (Fannie Farmer Cookbooks were once given to American brides – I was given mine in 1969.)

    Anyway, the American recipe for chocolate puddle pudding / Denver Chocolate Pudding calls for black coffee in place of water.

    I can’t wait to try the British version.

  8. My mother always made 'chocolate puddle pudding' and professed to never quite remember the recipe. (But oddly got it perfect every time). She's from Cambridge – is the pudding?

    Thank god the secret is out. And by far the best recipe for CPP on the interweb – earns me brownie points from my wife every time.

    Thanks Liz!

  9. I tried it and it needs a lot less water. My steamer being a metal one with a sealable lid on it from lakeland retained all the water.
    As is typical I only thought of it after I'd added it. So I had a muddly brown on the top. With a waterlogged soggy squidgey mess underneath it.
    So all in all it wasn't a great success.

  10. Patrick – it's not, as far as I know, local recipe – I think all English women just have this sort of thing in their DNA!

    SG – rotten luck. Give it a whirl baked – it'll cleanse the memory of your steamed mud!

  11. I made this today and it was gorgeous. My only problem was that my dish was too small and a volcano of chocolate sauce erupted from the corners of the dish whilst cooking!
    Definitely need a bigger dish next time!

  12. Thank you! I’ve been looking for this recipe in books for years. My late mother did make it and called it Pond Pudding. She added chopped nuts too! My favourite pudding ever.

  13. Hello Hedwig – heed her warning, folks!

    Hi Heather – I’m very glad I could help! I’ll give the chopped nuts idea a whirl next time I make it; hazelnuts or pecans would be lovely.

  14. I wish I had never found this page!! I was slim once … No prizes for guessing what I’m making this evening. Anyone need a recipe for chocolate cake with no flour? I have a lovely one šŸ™‚

  15. Made this tonight and it worked like a dream. I was a bit confused what kind of dish to use but I used a loaf tin which was great. I halved the recipe (apart from for the chocolate!) and cooked it for 30 mins, which was just right. Thanks Liz!

  16. Nicola – Nigella Lawson has a recipe for Sticky Toffee pudding made with the puddle method. I have made it many times and it’s great! It’s in her book ‘Nigella Bites’. Hope that helps (though you may have had an answer to this query already!)

  17. Thanks Judith No I havent found a recipe…for sticky toffee made with puddle method.. I’ll look for that! Strangly enough this is the first time Ive been back to this site since september!

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