Helen Goh's hot chocolate, banana and hazelnut fudge pudding

Don't skimp on the cream for this choc-banana pudding.
Don't skimp on the cream for this choc-banana pudding. Photo: William Meppem

A warm dessert for a satisfying end to a winter's lunch or dinner, this pudding manages to be both deeply flavoured and not too rich for the kids. The bananas add a sweet, fruity base note against the dark chocolate, but can be omitted if the chilly weather means they're not mottling overnight in the fruit basket. The pouring cream is essential, so don't skimp on it.


160g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

125ml milk

60g unsalted butter, diced, plus 10g extra, softened, for greasing the dish

80g dark chocolate, chopped

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp cinnamon powder

100g caster sugar

100g light or dark brown sugar

2-3 overripe bananas (200g after peeling), mashed

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

50g roasted skinless hazelnuts, roughly chopped

cold pouring cream, to serve

For the sauce

225ml water

30g unsalted butter, diced

80g light or dark brown sugar

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

pinch of salt


1. Preheat oven to 155C fan-forced (175C conventional). Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Combine the milk, butter, chocolate, cocoa and cinnamon in a large saucepan (it will need to accommodate the remaining ingredients later) and place over low heat. Stir regularly and, when the butter and chocolate have melted, remove the pan from heat. Add the sugars and whisk well to combine, then set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.

3. Grease the base and sides of an ovenproof baking dish (approximately 20cm in diameter and at least 7cm deep) with the extra softened butter.

4. When the chocolate mixture has cooled a little, add the mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla. Whisk well to incorporate, then add half of the sifted dry ingredients and fold through with a rubber spatula. Fold the remaining half of the dry ingredients into the mix and, when thoroughly combined, scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Set aside while preparing the sauce.

5. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan and whisk together over low heat. When the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth (about 2 minutes), remove the pan from the heat. Gently spoon the hot sauce over the pudding batter – it should form an even, liquid layer on top, ideally without disrupting the batter, though don't worry if it does. Scatter the hazelnuts on top, then place the baking dish into the preheated oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the centre of the pudding springs back when patted lightly with your fingers. The bottom of the pudding should remain slightly molten, which you'll notice if using a glass baking dish.

6. Allow the pudding to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. With a large cook's spoon, scoop the warm pudding into serving bowls and dribble the cold cream liberally on top and around to serve.

Tip: Keep leftovers refrigerated; just reheat in the microwave for 60 seconds.

Note: For a wonderful variation, swap the cinnamon powder for half a teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds, or the hazelnuts for pecans.