Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

So I thought I'd take the briefest of respites from my 100 Days of Awesome caper. Yeah, yeah, I know, I heard you all breathe a sigh of relief. I know that it's not exactly rivetting blog content, writing about the tiny little awesome things that happen each day that add up to make a good day. But hey, this blog is called "The Teensy, Tiny, Insignificant Details", and that's what I'm talking about, y'all. Those little spots of sunshine. You'd be surprised how much more positive you feel at the end of each day when you actually take stock of those moments, and I highly recommend doing it.
Anyway, this particular, more widely-interesting (to the general public, particularly those with a love of baked goods) ray of sunshine showed up on Saturday. I had made a vegetable soup out of the manky dregs of my vegetable drawer, and decided that it wasn't going to quite fill me up.
So, because of that, and because I had a cold and wanted comfort food, I decided that I needed* to make chocolate self-saucing pudding. Immediately.
I had also recently come into possession of these totally adorable individual enamelled baking dishes, and I needed* to use them to assauge the cuteness overload I was experiencing. Immediately. Let's just take a moment to bask in their awesomeness:
Done. Note also the cookbook to the side - from the Australian Women's Weekly "Kitchen" - and what it should look like if you make it in a large dish. (Note that the link I provided is for an Australian book store, and they don't know I exist (besides having taken my money in exchange for books from time to time!), but I do support the concept of buying local books from companies that employ some people locally, rather than just buying them off Amazon.
Moving on, this recipe is a bit of a winner - it only requires one bowl (which isn't a bowl at all - it's a saucepan); is dead easy; is egg-free (not an issue for me, but some people are allergic... and it will also make you feel much safer licking raw batter off the spoon if you're pregnant!); and it uses only baking staples that you are already likely to have in your cupboard. True, it's not exactly fancy-pants dinner party fare, but certainly is delicious and is perfect for a comfortable dinner with friends. 
It also travels quite well if you make the batter and put it in the dish, refrigerate until you're ready to transport it (it should stop it from rising), bring the brown sugar/cocoa mix with you in a plastic bag and do the sprinkle/add boiling water step once you're at your venue. And if you do that and pop it in the oven right as the main course is being served, it should be ready for consumption at just about the right moment.
I halved the recipe, and made it in three smaller containers - two of my adorable enamel dishes and one small Chinese bowl. I used a little less water because I got the feeling I was going to drown the puddings (although that ended in a more chewy, caramel-y sauce rather than a runnier one I have had in the past when making a full batch in a large dish), and reduced the cooking time by about ten minutes. I'd keep a closer eye on it than that if you're not following the original recipe and check it after about 25 minutes, though - my oven has a track record for not running at the temperature it is set to, so you never can tell what's going to happen. Makes things exciting!
The recipe, from AWW "Kitchen", can also be found here.
60g butter
½c milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾c castor sugar
1c SR flour
1 tbsp cocoa
¾c brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp cocoa, extra
2c boiling water
Preheat oven to 180oC.
Melt the butter and milk in a saucepan. Remove from heat, mix in vanilla and sugar, followed by flour and cocoa. Stir with wooden spoon until smooth and well-combined.
Transfer to greased ovenproof dish/dishes (I've used a 6-cup Pyrex casserole dish before which worked well). Mix brown sugar and extra cocoa together until evenly distributed, sprinkle over the top of the pudding, then carefully pour boiling water over it.
Bake in oven for around 40 minutes, until the centre is firm (I tested with a skewer and tasted the crumb to check with it tasted raw, which it did. Once it was cooked the skewer actually came out clean).
Serve with ice cream. Yummo!
And how quick and easy was that! You may even have noticed that the method wasn't full of my usual disclaimers about how I changed the recipe on the fly, because I didn't. It really was that easy.
*Use of the word "needed" is fairly subjective in this case and pertains more to actions that will lead to feeling gratified, than to more widely-accepted basic human needs such as oxygen and water.

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