Eggless Self-Saucing Rich Chocolate Pudding


Folks, I am back from my long hiatus (okay, fine! I just posted a recipe last week, but it feels like forever). I am slowly learning to keep the promise to myself - of being less 'gadget-friendly' (what I call myself when I get too friendly with my phones/laptop) and more people-friendly (what I end up doing when I keep gadgets at bay). Last week was the last week of the spring break for my kids and we made the most of it. I packed 4 kids (two of my own and two of my brother's) and off we went to the movies and to a gaming area and to the library (all on separate days of course - fun things must always be spaced out). On the other days, stories were read, movies (at home) were watched and one-minute-microwave-mug-cakes were made, eaten and enjoyed. A friend from India was on vacation in Dubai with her family and we met up, chatted over a simple Mangalorean meal of boiled rice, valchebaji ani guley and mutton sukka, watched the sunset (reached the beach almost when the sun kissed the sun-kissed shores goodbye for the day!) and headed to the Dubai Water Canal to take the mandatory touristy pictures (it was our first time there too). It is nice to have friends over but unfortunately, when friends meet after ages and have to manage little ones it becomes impossible to have a tête-à-tête. Nevertheless, it is always heartwarming to meet childhood friends, isn't it?



If I may take the liberty of boring you, I have also started watching a lot of movies. It's mostly Netflix or Spuul (an app for Indian movies - mainstream/art/regional language) that keep me busy. If movies are not my thing for the day, I catch up on web series on YouTube. Indian television has taken a giant leap forward leaving behind regressive soap operas that have gripped our nation over the past two decades. There are a lot of refreshing, entertaining short stories and sit-coms you can now find on YouTube, so technically there is no need to fight with your mum/mum-in-law/grandma/aunt for that remote anymore. Trust me, what you will find on YouTube is so much better than the sob sagas on the idiot box. Women decked up in wedding finery cutting onions in palatial kitchens and plotting against their mum-in-law barely hold my interest and so if you have also been traumatised by the sights and sounds of Ekta Kapooresque serials, please switch to something better!




And yeah, Lent comes to an end this week and while I've been meaning to post the many veg recipes I've been trying out, I simply couldn't get to do it. Instead, the next couple of recipes will be for Easter. Today's recipe is a very decadent self-saucing pudding that is sure to impress all chocolate lovers. I would call it 'death by chocolate' but I still need to eat that on my next trip to Bangalore and try and recreate it. This pudding is self-saucing because of this simple step while baking it that gives you a thick sauce oozing out of the soft, fudgy, brownie-like cake which can rightly be classified as a pudding. You can serve it plain or take it a notch higher and serve it with vanilla ice cream, a classic, no-fail serving suggestion. Why? because chocolate and vanilla are like ebony and ivory, a pair that creates beautiful music, a match made in heaven.  


And hey! I just completed my collaboration with Puck Arabia, a leading dairy brand in the Middle East. I had a great time creating breakfast recipes that revolve around bread and Puck White Spreadable Cream Cheese and you can find them on the puckarabia website under my profile. Click here to access them. Apart from Masala French Toast and Pan Grilled Baguette Pesto Bites there are three other recipes that I created with love, keeping busy moms and picky eaters in mind. If you would like to collaborate with me please email me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com,  if not, send me a mail anyway, I love hearing from you!

Eggless Self-Saucing Rich Chocolate Pudding
Prep time: 15-20 mins | Baking time: 25-30 mins | Serves: 6

Ingredients:
For the topping:
To serve:
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 9" square or round baking pan. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.
2. Prepare the topping, in a bowl, make a lump-free mixture of the cocoa powder and dark brown sugar. Dissolve the coffee powder into the boiling water and let it cool. 
3. Place the chocolate, butter and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. * see notes. Remove from the heat. 
4. Add the sifted flour mixture in parts to the melted chocolate mixture and stir until incorporated. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. 
5. Sprinkle the topping of the dark brown sugar & cocoa mixture evenly over the pudding mixture and then pour the coffee solution over it.
6. Bake for 40 minutes and then remove the pan. Serve immediately with whipped cream and berries. The sauce will thicken as the pudding cools so serve it when piping hot (for this reason, you should plan to freshly bake and serve it)

Notes:
1. If you prefer a pudding that you will serve with ice cream or want to cut down on the sweetness do feel free to reduce or skip the sugar for the topping or reduce it (but don't skip) in the batter. I reduced the sugar in the topping from 1/2 cup to 1 tablespoon when I planned to serve the pudding with ice cream. Using muscovado/dark or soft brown sugar is recommended as it enhances the taste.
2. To melt the chocolate, butter and caster sugar (step#3) we use something called as the double boiler technique . Place the 3 ingredients in a deep bowl and then place the bowl over a small saucepan with a little water in it. Bring the water to a boil and reduce it to sim. The heat will help the chocolate melt. If you are using this technique to only melt chocolate, make sure that the base of the bowl in which the chocolate is kept does not come in contact with the simmering water below or there is every chance for the chocolate to seize (turn lumpy and hard and impossible to work with).
3. If you skip the 70 grams of caster sugar in the topping you may get a pudding that is less runny, keep a eye out and remove the pudding out of the oven as soon as the pudding/cake springs up to the touch. Add this quantity of sugar if you are going to serve the pudding with fresh cream/unsweetened whipped cream. Reduce or skip it if you wish to serve the pudding with ice cream

Recipe updated on 26th April 2017 with the following changes:
1. Baking time reduced to 25-30 mins to help bake a softer and more runny pudding
2. Notes updated against the amount of sugar in the batter and topping