Posts Tagged ‘chocolate pudding’

A Pudding With A Health Warning

Let’s begin with the circumstances in which you should not make this pudding. Firstly, do not make it for any occasion when looks are important. It is delicious; it is chocolatey; it will make your guests’ eyes roll back in their head a little bit when they eat it. But it has to be said that it lacks kerb appeal.

Secondly, do not make it if you share a house with people prone to sudden and intense obsessions. Do not make it if, for example, you are a student living in a communal house and your three housemates are a bunch of Doctor Who fans and Electronic Engineers. They will become fixated on it, like cats with catnip, and will demand that you make it for them every single Sunday until the end of time. Just to pick a totally random example.

Thirdly, do not make it for anyone for whom sugar is an issue. It is simply not possible to substitute with sweetener in this recipe, so don’t even try. This pudding contains three (count ’em) different types of sugar, in quantities which together total significantly more than half a pound, and each type of sugar brings its own special characteristics which are essential to the pudding’s successful creation. Skinny minnies, diabetics or people who would be much happier with a really good cheese-plate will not appreciate the glory this pudding represents.

Now, let’s talk about who you should make this pudding for. Make it for your family on a cold winter afternoon, when you want everyone to be sleepy and peaceful and contented. Make it for your partner when you’ve reached the no-make-up, greying-t-shirt stage of being contented in each other’s presence. Make it for the friends you’re so comfortable with that you will quite happily go round to each other’s houses in your pyjamas. Make it when people are sad and need comfort food; and make it when people are happy and want to celebrate with something indecently delicious. Make it when you want to believe in magic (I have no idea how this pudding can possibly perform its strange layer-swapping trick, but it does). Look, just make it, okay? And don’t judge it by its slightly odd appearance when it comes out of the oven. Just wait for it to cool, plunge that spoon in deep, scoop out a big fat portion and start shovelling.


6oz Granulated sugar

4oz Self-raising flour

2oz Cooking chocolate

3 tbsp butter

1/4 pint milk

2oz brown sugar

2oz caster sugar

3 tbsp cocoa

6 fl.oz water

A medium-sized Pyrex or other ovenproof bowl

Oven at 160C

1. Float a bowl in a saucepan of boiling water to make a bain-marie, and melt your cooking-chocolate and butter together.

2. In your pyrex bowl, mix the granulated sugar and self-raising flour.

3. Mix your melted butter and chocolate with your sugar / flour mixture. You’ll end up with a sort of pale-brown, grainy, pasty, stiff mixture.

4. Gradually blend in the milk. You should now have something that looks like pale-brown thick custard.

5. Over the top of your mixture, sprinkle the following, in the following order and in three separate layers:
– 2oz brown sugar
– 2oz caster sugar
– 3 tbsp cocoa

6. Carefully pour over the water. Don’t worry if you have strange beads of water dusted with cocoa-powder rolling around the surface, and don’t worry if you haven’t. Do not stir, poke with a spoon to see what happens, or interfere with the delicate balance of your pudding in any way. Just shove it in the oven and walk away for forty-five minutes to an hour.

7. After forty-five minutes to an hour, open your oven, and be amazed by the secret cooking magic that has occurred. The stuff you put on the bottom – the flour, the sugar, the butter, the chocolate, the milk – has made its way to the top, and turned itself into a luscious, dense, cakey, chocolate-sponge topping. And the stuff you put in on the top – the other sugar, the other other sugar, the cocoa, the water – has somehow found its way to the bottom and turned into the most beautiful fudgy chocolate sauce you could ever imagine.

8. On the downside, when you look at the centre of the pudding, you will now understand why its name is Catsbum Chocolate Pudding. Although I can’t prove this, I suspect this weird, puckered…thing…in the centre is the exit-route for the fudge-sauce ingredients on their mysterious journey to the base of the pyrex dish.

9. Leave the pudding to cool for at least an hour, plus as long as you can all bear to wait thereafter. Serve to your loved ones (you should never make this pudding for anyone you don’t love…it’s too delicious to waste on people you don’t have a deep and sincere affection for), with cream, ice-cream or anything else cool and melty you like the sound of. Lick the spoons clean, scrape the bowl, and fight over the leftovers. And for God’s sake, don’t count the calories. Ignorance is bliss. Just like this pudding.

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Come Into My Gingerbread House, Little One…

This pudding is a great way to kick-start your child’s social life. Once you’re made it for one child once, the word will spread, and you will then be able to lure not only that child, but all future children, round to your house to play with your child – merely with the promise that chocolate pudding will be made at tea-time.That sounded a lot less sinister in my head.

Before someone calls the police on me, I should add that the fun of this pudding doesn’t stop with the acquisition of small-sized dinner-guests. This pudding is almost indecently delicious. It requires no skill whatsoever to make. Because all the quantities are based on volume rather than weight, you don’t even need to get the scales out. It can be prepared in about five minutes (three if you’re really motoring) and it then takes three minutes to cook. One pudding is frequently too much for one child, so you get to scavenge off their plates afterwards. And it’s also hilariously good fun to watch while it cooks. On the downside, it’s strangely hard to clean off the mugs afterwards. But it’s worth it.

Serves two children (with scavenging potential for mothers), two adults, or one outrageous pig 


4 tbsp self-raising flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp milk
4 tbsp oil
2 splashes vanilla essence
As many chocolate chips as you feel you can justify
2 mugs you don’t like very much (or 1 mug if you’re going for the Outrageous Pig option)


1.      Take your two mugs you don’t like very much.

2.      Into each mug, put:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa

…and mix well. Get right into the crevices with the mixing-spoon, otherwise you’ll have little patches of flour left over.

3.      To each mug, add:
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp milk
a splash of vanilla essence
half the beaten egg.

4.      Mix some more. If it turns into a sort of weird chocolate cement, add a bit more oil and / or a bit more milk.

5.      Add the chocolate chips, and stir them in a bit. If you let them sit on the top, they will melt and run down the sides, which isn’t a disaster, but seems like a bit of a waste.

6.      Microwave the mugs on full power for three minutes. Gather the children around the microwave in the manner of savages witnessing the making of fire, and watch in genuine fascination as the puddings rise up the insides of the mug, threatening to erupt like volcanoes. Be prepared for quite a lot of discussion from any small people watching regarding vital questions such as whose pudding is “winning”, what constitutes “winning” anyway, whether the rising puddings look more like hats than monsters or more like monsters than hats, and what might happen if the pudding filled the whole microwave / grew all the way up to the ceiling / collapsed over the side and tried to escape. Don’t worry. Three minutes from now, a beautiful silence will descend on your household.

7.      Remove your pudding from the microwave and serve with ice-cream and cream. Enjoy knowing that your pudding will soon become a legend in the playground, and your child will now be able to secure anyone they want, even if their idea of fun is to tie up their guests and pointlessly torture them for an hour. If their idea of fun is to tie up their guests and pointlessly torture them for an hour, remember to book a therapist. But finish off the remains of the chocolate pudding first.


Stupidly Easy Recipes are just that – stupidly easy. Every single ingredient they contain can be bought from my local supermarket, and most of them are stuff I just happen to have in the house most of the time. They all produce results which are insanely nice compared to how little work you need to put into preparing them, and most can be eaten one-handed, with a fork, over the head of a Moray Eel nursing baby. Quantities are usually for two people.

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