The world lacks enough proper puds. The kind that indulge, comfort and fortify. Way too many smears and mousses and panna cottas, with a sprinkling of crumbs, have made their way onto dessert plates. But at home, when the weather turns, I encourage you to make one of these self-saucing wonders and don't be shy with double cream or ice-cream on the side.
Chocolate, raspberry and Turkish delight self-saucing pudding
This molten choc pud heaving with chunks of Turkish delight is a dessert trifecta: pretty to look at, easy to make, and just the right level of indulgence. It also tastes equally good served cold straight from the fridge the next day.
200g self raising flour
30g cocoa powder
220g castor sugar
125g butter, melted
200g chocolate coated Turkish delight, chopped into 5cm pieces and frozen for at least 20 minutes (plus a few extra pieces, to serve)
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
110g soft brown sugar (½ cup, firmly packed)
250ml boiling water
250g (2 punnets) raspberries (plus a few extra raspberries to scatter)
1 tbsp castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
½ cup crushed pistachios, to serve
vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Crush the raspberries, castor sugar and vanilla bean paste in a bowl with a fork. Set aside for the fruit to macerate.
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a baking dish (about 19cm x 30cm).
Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Add the castor sugar, butter and milk and whisk until smooth.
Spread the batter into the prepared tray, then gently push the pieces of Turkish delight and dark chocolate into the batter. Gently smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle over the brown sugar and carefully pour the boiling water over the pudding batter. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is just set.
Remove from oven and let stand for five minutes. Scatter with crushed pistachios and extra Turkish delight chunks. Dollop over the macerated raspberries. Scoop into bowls and serve with vanilla bean ice-cream.
Tip: If using frozen raspberries, strain once defrosted, so it isn't too watery.
Little lemon curd and lemon thyme puddings. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Lemon curd self-saucing puddings with lemon thyme and pistachio
Lemon thyme adds a delightful woody, soft herby background flavour to this lemon pud, without the bitterness of regular thyme.
¾ cup (165g) castor sugar
⅓ cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
½ bunch lemon thyme (4-6 sprigs)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ cup (115g) castor sugar
2 eggs, separated
45g plain flour
1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves, picked
¼ cup lightly crushed pistachio kernels
double cream, to serve (optional)
For the lemon curd add the sugar, butter, zest and lemon juice to a saucepan and place over low-medium heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until sugar has dissolved.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and yolks, and add to the lemon mixture. Whisk constantly over low heat until the curd thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Place the curd in a bowl to chill in the fridge while you prepare the puddings.
For the puddings preheat the oven to 180C. Place the milk and ½ bunch lemon thyme in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavour to steep. Once the milk is completely cool, strain, discarding the lemon thyme stalks, and reserve the milk for the pudding.
Place the butter, zest and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold through the flour then gradually add the thyme-infused milk in a gentle stream, whisking lightly to combine.
Whisk the eggwhites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold lightly through the pudding batter.
Add 3 tablespoons of lemon curd to the base of four one-cup ramekins. Pour batter over the top of the curd and place the ramekins on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Place another dollop of lemon curd on top of each of the puddings, sprinkle with lemon thyme leaves and crushed pistachios, and serve.
Apple and cardamom pudding with malt caramel. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Spiced apple and malt caramel pudding
The use of tinned apple may have some cooks aghast but the combination of fresh and dried fruit makes this saucing apple-pie-inspired pud a textural wonderland.
800g tinned apple pieces
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup dried apple, chopped, or a mix of whole rings and pieces for texture
1 tbsp ground cardamom
4 tbsp dulce de leche
1⅓ cups (200g) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250g castor sugar
125ml unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup malt extract syrup
1 cup water
dried apple slices, to serve (optional)
vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 170C
Combine the apples, cardamom and dulce de leche in a bowl and stir until the caramel has been incorporated. Pour apple mixture into base of a greased 7-cup baking dish.
Sift flour and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer, add castor sugar, milk, butter and eggs, then beat until pale. Spread mixture over the apples.
Place the brown sugar, malt syrup and one cup of water in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil without stirring, and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and gently pour over the pudding batter. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden and the pudding is just set.
Scoop pudding into serving bowls, top with vanilla ice-cream and extra dried apple, if using.
Pop a poached pear on top of each pud. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Chocolate and red wine self-saucing puddings with spiced pear and chocolate crumb
The chocolate crumb is entirely optional, but is well worth the effort. It's inspired by Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar crumb recipe.
500g castor sugar
250ml sweet apple or pear cider
6 ripe pears, peeled
2 star anise
1 vanilla bean pod, halved, seeds scraped
1 cinnamon quill
100g plain flour
1 tsp cornflour
100g castor sugar
65g cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
85g butter, melted
1 cup (150g) plain flour
½ tbsp baking powder
1 cup (220g) castor sugar
½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
70g butter, melted and cooled
½ cup (125ml) milk
½ cup dark chocolate, broken into chunks
1 cup red wine
cream or vanilla ice-cream, to serve
For the poached pears add all ingredients and 500ml of water to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once on a rolling boil and the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat to low and simmer for one and a half hours. Remove from heat and allow pears to cool in the syrup.
For the chocolate crumb preheat the oven to 180C. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl until combined. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the clusters out across it. Bake for 20 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from oven – the crumbs will still be slightly tacky – and allow to cool completely on the tray. Store leftover crumbs in an airtight container. They will keep for one week at room temperature or one month in fridge or freezer (makes about 2 cups).
For the pudding preheat the oven to 160C and boil the kettle. Grease a 1.5 litre (6-cup) capacity ovenproof baking dish or six 1-cup capacity ramekins.
Sift the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar and 1/4 cup of the cocoa into a bowl, stir to combine and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, whisk melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and egg. Gradually pour into the well, then fold to combine.
Spread mixture evenly into prepared dish or dishes. Push the chunks of dark chocolate into the batter and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon. Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa and sprinkle over the top of the pudding. Carefully pour one cup of boiling water over the top of the pudding, followed by one cup of red wine.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is firm (you may need to increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes if using one large dish). Stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
To serve, gently remove a pear from the syrup and place in the centre of each pudding. Sprinkle over 1 to 2 tablespoons of chocolate crumb and serve with vanilla ice-cream or cream.