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World’s best chocolate pudding

World’s best chocolate pudding

 

Killing time before being ambushed in the hunter class at a country show proved beneficial in the long run. Buying a CWA cookbook and mastering the self-saucing chocolate pudding was the more endurable trophy taken home that day.

 

 

MY FAVOURITE DISH WITH ROGER FITZHARDINGE

 

WHEN THE WORLD’S best chocolate pudding came into my life, I was riding my medium level, very beautiful (remember I am NOT biased) 17hh liver chestnut Warmblood gelding. My good friend Gina Montgomery encouraged me to take the gelding to the St Ives Show and compete in the hunter classes. It seemed like a great idea as it would be good experience for my dressage horse, not to mention that we were quietly confident he would win.

 

The weather was wonderful and I was sure my horse would do well as a hunter as I had previously had a national champion and I felt this one was better. So, along the three of us went and the usual occurred as we waited for classes and tried to follow what the judges were going for in the hack and hunter rings. We sussed out the opposition and felt we were in with a great chance. (You might be guessing by now things never happen the way you think they are going to).

 

At lunchtime I went for a meander to alleviate the boredom and grabbed a sandwich at the Country Woman's Association canteen, where I noticed they had a CWA Cook Book 2, so I bought a copy (so far the day is going quite well, yes?). 

 

Back to the truck and, having won our hunter class, we readied ourselves for the championship. I was sure I had it absolutely covered and was full of confidence when I went to warm up. As luck would have it, from out of the gloomy trees came two Clydesdales pulling a dray, alive with excited children, balloons and much fairy floss!  My super horse grew to 19hh but actually coped very well and in the end I was very impressed with him. The workout was fabulous (again totally unbiased) and I sat in the line-up sure as hell that I had the sash and the garland nailed. Can you believe, to my sheer amazement I was wrong? No champion, and dare I admit, no reserve ribbon either!

 

My smile stayed (it may have been more of a grimace) as I congratulated the winners and slunk off back to my truck, with the wind well and truly knocked out of my sails. I very quietly untacked and sneaked out of the grounds as unobtrusively as possible, tail between my legs. Despite showing being a large part of my life through judging and conducting seminars, I must have missed the mark on this one. I called Gina on the way home to explain that there was no broad sash; she was somewhat amazed, more so when I said no reserve either. But that is the sport of showing and we have both seen some pretty amazing decisions many times before.

 

The highlight of the day was purchasing the CWA cookbook, and to cheer myself up after unplaiting and cleaning gear, I sat down with a G&T and flicked through the book, when there it was – the chocolate self-saucing pudding. Wouldn’t you know it, I happened to have all the ingredients and so I thought, why not give it a go? Let me tell you, it was absolutely sensational and since that day has become the signature dish here at Chatham Park, in fact it's becoming quite famous!

 

Every time I cook it (and that's fairly often) it's a reminder to me about subjectivity! I have changed a few proportions here and there and it's simply delicious. So the moral of this story is – remember to never count your chickens before they hatch, the show ain't over ’til the fat lady sings, and always look for the silver (chocolate) lining. (I need to thank Gina and hunter hacking, as without the two I may never have discovered this recipe).

 

CHOCOLATE SELF-SAUCING PUDDING

INGREDIENTS

·      1 cup self-raising flour

·      3 tablespoons cocoa powder (heaped)

·      1/2 cup caster sugar

·      1 egg

·      1/2 cup milk

·      60g butter, melted

·      1 teaspoon vanilla essence

·      1 cup soft brown sugar (heaped)

·      1 & 3/4 cups boiling water

 

METHOD (Roger’s way)

Step 1 - Pour a glass of wine, or for those of you who are underage, a lime cordial.

Step 2 - Turn oven on to 180 degrees celcius.

Step 3 - Get a dollop of butter and grease an ovenproof 2L bowl.

Step 4 - Sip your chosen drink, but be careful as your hands will be greasy!

Step 5 - In a large bowl, sift (I just chuck it in, who has time to sift?) the flour; add 1 tablespoon of cocoa and the sugar and mix together until combined, smashing any lumps.

Step 6 - Melt the butter in the microwave (beware, it doesn't take long).

Step 7 - Time for another quick sip

Step 8 - In a jug, beat the egg, add the milk, the vanilla essence and the melted butter and mix together until smooth.

Step 9 - Add the liquid slowly to the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon until the batter is lump-free.

Step 10 - Pour the batter in to the prepared ovenproof dish, evenly spreading over the entire base of the dish.

Step 11 - Top up your drink, it's thirsty work!

Step 12 - Mix the brown sugar and the remainder of the cocoa in a bowl until combined then sprinkle evenly over the batter

Step 13 - Pour the boiling water evenly over the ingredients, covering the entire mixture evenly with no brown sugar topping exposed. (tip: pour the water over the back of a dessertspoon with the spoon a few millimetres above the mixture; this will stop erosion.

Step 14 - Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until firm on top and cooked.

Step 15 - Enjoy the rest of your drink!

Step 16 - Remove from oven and dust with icing sugar. Serve hot with a dollop of cream and/or ice cream.

 

And there you have it, a simple dessert that is easy to make and is inexpensive! You can even make this before a competition and take it away with you as a treat as it’s just as yummy cold – but you are doing better than me if you can leave it uneaten that long.

 

And finally, if you want to charge it up, add half a cup of dried apricots or chopped walnuts to the batter.

 

 This article first appeared in a previous edition of Equestrian Life magazine. For more information or to subscribe, visit our home page here

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