If you've not come across this little pudding before, then you might think that the recipe sounds ridiculous. Well, it is a bit odd, but it does works, honest. It’s one of those puddings that separates out during cooking. You should end up with three layers: a crunchy sweet topping, a chocolate sponge middle and a chocolate fudgey base. It’s indulgent and delicious without being too ridiculously high in fat. What’s not to like there?
This month’s We Should Cocoa challenge is being hosted by Lucy over at The Kitchen Maid and she’s asked us to share a famous chocolate recipe. Well this one’s famous. Or, at least, it used to be famous. Around the early to mid 1980s this dish seemed to turn up everywhere. OK, it’s old-fashioned and it’s not photogenic but it’s also delicious and it definitely doesn't deserve to be forgotten.
I really don’t know the origins of this dish. When I first came across it in the 1970s I’m pretty sure that I was told it was named after the place in Essex. Later someone told me that it was named after a Mrs or Mr Debden. More recently I found that there’s a similar American dish called Denver pudding. As usual, I'm confused.
You can eat Debden pudding warm or chilled but it’s at its best when served at room temperature, I think. A little cream, ice cream or thick yogurt would be a nice addition. This should serve 6 – although, frankly I could eat the whole thing myself.
120 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
170 g granulated sugar (ideally the golden, unrefined type)
30 g unsalted butter
40 g dark chocolate
140 ml milk (preferably full-fat, although semi-skimmed will work)
50 g demerara sugar
50 g caster sugar
20 g cocoa powder
175 ml cold water
You’ll need an ovenproof dish that will hold at least 900 ml. Butter the dish. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Mix together the flour, the baking powder and the granulated sugar. Melt the butter and chocolate together over a bowl of simmering water or in the microwave. Stir the butter and chocolate mixture into the flour and sugar, followed by the milk. The mixture won’t look promising at this stage, but don’t worry – trust me, I’m a blogger.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the mixture in the dish. Do the same with the caster sugar and, finally, with the cocoa powder. Now carefully pour in the cold water, trying to avoid disturbing the layers of sugar and cocoa as far as possible.
Place in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until the top has formed a crust. (The type of dish you use is likely to make a difference to the cooking time. The old-fashioned enamel tins are probably the quickest.) Allow the pudding to cool before serving. If you’re not planning to eat the pudding immediately, then store it in the fridge, but preferably return it to room temperature before serving.
The We Should Cocoa challenge was created by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog and Chele at Chocolate Teapot.