SELF-SAUCING CHOCOLATE MUD PUD

This is an insanely dense, saucy and chocolaty pudding - what more could anyone ask for during the festive period when expanding waistlines are a sign of a well-celebrated Christmas? 

Ingredients - serves 6-8

  • 250g plump raisins 
  • 350ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 60g salted butter, at room temperature 
  • 250g dark brown muscovado sugar 
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 260g plain flour 
  • 50g cocoa powder

For the self-saucing sauce

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 75g dark brown muscovado sugar 
  • 300ml boiling water 
  • 50g nutella 

Essential equipment

  • Deep 23cm/9-inch square ceramic pudding dish or cake tin, greased 

Method

Chop the raisins as finely as you can, and place them in the boiling water with the bicarbonate of soda. Allow to soak for 30 minutes.

Cream the butter with the sugar until paler in colour and lighter in texture (a freestanding mixer or an electric whisk is useful for this), then add the vanilla and the eggs. Beat together vigorously until everything is well combined, then add the raisins and their soaking water. Sift together the flour and the cocoa powder, and fold this into the batter.

Alternatively, if you have a food processor, simply soak the raisins as in step 1, then throw everything into the food processor and blitz into a chocolaty batter.

Pour into the greased dish, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to firm up for at least 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4.

For the sauce, mix the cocoa powder and muscovado sugar together and sprinkle evenly over the pudding. Mix the boiling water and chocolate hazelnut spread together until well combined – best done with a whisk in a mixing bowl – and then gently pour on top of the pudding. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pudding is spongy and has risen slightly. Serve warm with lashings of cream or ice cream.