This sweet and tasty chocolate and date pudding comes from Hugo Arnold.

"This is a take on a chocolate nemesis but with the addition of chewy dates at the base. It is better to take it out of the oven a little sooner rather than later, to keep the hot chocolate centre molten and heavenly." - Hugo Arnold 

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 25g butter, melted, for lining pudding dish
  • 25g flour, for lining pudding dish 
  • 100g dates, halved lengthways and stones removed if there
  • 125g self-rising flour, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa powder 
  • 120g golden caster sugar
  • 85g butter, melted 
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 125g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
  • 225ml boiling water, for bain marie 
  • 45g creme fraiche 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C /Gas mark 4.
  2. Using the melted butter and flour, lightly grease and flour a 1.25 litre heatproof serving dish and arrange the dates on the base.
  3. Sieve the baking powder into the flour, along with the cocoa powder, in a large bowl. Stir in the caster sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, vanilla and eggs. Fold in the flour mixture, and pour into the pudding bowl. 
  4. mix together the soft brown sugar and cocoa. Sprinkle this over the top of the pudding mixture. Place the pudding bowl in a tray and fill with the boiling water, to create a bain marie. 
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 45-5- minutes. It should be slightly wobbly on the surface but well-risen. Serve hot with creme fraiche.