Total mess I know, but a tasty mess all the same.
55g/2oz dark chocolate
170g/6oz self-raising flour
55g/2oz cocoa powder
170g/6oz caster sugar
For the filling:
1 orange – preferably a thin skinned navel variety
85g/3oz caster sugar
First, bring some water to a boil (in which you are later going to steam your pudding), and put in your whole orange to boil fast for at least 10 min with the lid on.
Meanwhile, grease a 1.3ltr/2pint pudding basin. Melt the butter with the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water. Put the flour and cocoa into a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and chocolate, then the sugar eggs and milk, and mix well. Put about 2/3 of the mixture into the basin, making a well in the middle.
By this time the orange should have been boiling for about 10 min, and the peel should be nice and soft. Remove it carefully from the water. Prick the orange all over with a fork, and place it in the middle of the pudding mix. Dice the butter and dot it around the orange with the sugar, then cover with the remaining pudding mixture. Cover the pudding with greaseproof paper, then with tin foil, and place in the pan of boiling water (it should come halfway up the side of the basin). Steam for 2 hours. Don’t forget to check now and then to see if the water needs to be topped up.
Turn the pudding out of the dish and serve with custard or cream.
This is a pudding in a British sense, not at all what we think of as pudding. A pudding out here is like a cake that you steam instead of baking. I know, it sounds really unlikely, but it’s true. They tend to be really moist and rich and sticky, and they are almost always served with custard or cream (custard is a sauce out here). British and American cultures tend to translate quite easily, except for desserts.
So this was my very first steamed pudding, and for some reason I decided to try a really complicated one. Whether or not it worked is a matter of some debate. Was it delicious? Yes, that seemed to be unanimous. Did it look ok? Not really. No one else seemed to mind, but the top seemed to sink and crack open a bit like a volcano when I turned it out of the dish. I think that the orange that I used was too big, and also, it had too thick a skin for this particular use. The skin was edible, like it said in the recipe, but was awfully difficult to cut, which led to a severely mangled cake.
Also, the lid of the pudding basin popped part way off half way through cooking. Next time, I will still use the specially fitted lid, but maybe I’ll cover it with foil too.
All in all though, I guess if it tastes good, that’s the most important part, so I am willing to call this one a win... sort of.