The world possibly divides into those who love a steamed chocolate pudding and those who prefer it plain. Well, don't make your choice until you've tasted both, as this pecan-and-chocolate-studded glory may win over any vanilla purists.
180g unsalted butter, softened
180g dark brown sugar
3 x 60g eggs
15ml brandy or espresso coffee
2 tsp vanilla extract
30g ground almonds
70g chopped pecans
70g chopped dark chocolate
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Caramel butter sauce
200g castor sugar
25g unsalted butter
50g pecan halves
1. Butter the inside of a one-litre (size 30) traditional pudding bowl, place a small disc of non-stick paper in the base, then dust the inside with flour to make it non-stick. Have a deep 25cm lidded saucepan ready and check your bowl will sit inside it with some room around the base and sides.
2. Beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the brandy, vanilla and almonds to combine, then stir in the nuts and chocolate. Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder then stir this through evenly.
3. Spoon the mixture into the bowl. Pour boiling water into the saucepan around the outside of the pudding bowl so it comes up to about halfway. Stick the lid on the saucepan and bring to a simmer, then cook for 90 to 120 minutes, or until the pudding is cooked right through. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
4. To make the caramel butter sauce, boil the sugar with 50ml water in a medium saucepan over a high heat until it turns a deep golden caramel colour. Remove from the heat, add the butter and, gradually as it will spit, add another 75ml water so the caramel melts back into a light syrup. Add the pecans and boil the sauce again until slightly thickened.
5. When the pudding is ready, remove the pot from the saucepan, upturn onto a plate, and spoon over the warm caramel sauce.
Prefer plain? Try Dan's vanilla steamed pudding instead.
Find more of Dan Lepard's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.