Chocolate Puddle Pudding

Distantly related to Margaret Costa’s equally sublime lemon surprise pudding, this is a light souffled chocolate sponge that generates its own sauce. The recipe is foolproof, fills the house with wonderful aromas and is particularly good with lemony fromage frais or crème fraiche.

Serves 4-6
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 45 min

100g soft butter plus extra knob
100g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
½ (half) tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
100g self raising flour
25g cocoa
100ml milk

the sauce:
100g soft dark brown sugar
25g cocoa
300ml hot water
fromage frais or crème fraiche to serve

Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Use the knob of butter to smear a 1.5kg pudding dish – mine was oval and 4cm deep. Cream butter and caster sugar until fluffy. Separate the eggs and fold in the yolks. Mix flour, 25g cocoa and pinch salt and fold into the mix followed by the milk. Whisk the egg whites until they hold peaks. Gently but firmly fold into the mix. Spoon into the dish and gently smooth the top. Mix the sauce ingredients and ladle over the pudding. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. The pudding will swell through the sauce to make a moist sponge with a thin crust. The sauce will be thick and chocolately underneath. Serve immediately with fromage frais or crème fraiche.