Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

On World Chocolate Day, I want to share one of my favourite chocolate recipes, and frankly, one of the most under-rated puddings: the chocolate self-saucing pudding. I’ve made this pudding countless times and it is always a hit with friends and family.

The first time I saw a recipe for this was when my parents bought our first ever microwave. The recipe was in the booklet that came with it. When we made it, the bowl we used was way too small and all the sauce just overflowed as it cooked. I remember thinking what a messy pudding this was, but after tasting it, I quickly became a fan. While this was at least 15 years ago, every time I have this pudding now, it takes me back to that moment I tasted this microwaved version.

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Coconut and Pomegranate Pudding (Kiru Boakiba)

Coconut and Pomegranate Pudding (Kiru Boakiba)

It’s funny how when I was a kid, I never would eat this coconut pudding (kiru boakiba). But when I made it recently, the smell and taste had me filled with nostalgia — certainly reminded me of home.

This kiru boakiba (coconut pudding) with a twist, was first presented to me by my friend Fathun. I absolutely loved it! The tart taste of the pomegranate went beautifully with the creamy coconut taste. It is sometimes hard to find out an exact recipe for Maldivian desserts but Fathun has worked it out and now I am sharing this with you so you can enjoy this foolproof recipe.

Fathun had used pomegranate molasses, but this being a Maldivian recipe, I have tried to make this as a Maldivian would make and made a pomegranate syrup instead. But if you can find a bottle of pomegranate molasses, use that instead of the pomegranate syrup.

Coconut and Pomegranate Pudding (Kiru Boakiba)

I’ve made this recipe a few times now. The first time it worked like a charm, and I used the pomegranate molasses. I’ve experimented a few times from attempting to make my own pomegranate molasses, to just using the pure juice of the pomegranate, and now I’ve finally gotten it right. It took a couple of times to figure out how long to cook the mixture as well. There have been a couple of times when the mixture didn’t set.

When you’re making the pomegranate syrup, if you do end up reducing it too much and it becomes too sticky, just add a little bit of water and heat it till it comes to the right consistency. I have a short video of how to juice a pomegranate on my Instagram Story Highlights.

This pudding is perfect for an afternoon tea. It is also gluten free and vegen so all of your friends can enjoy it!

Coconut and Pomegranate Pudding (Kiru Boakiba)

Ingredients:

Pomegranate Syrup:

  • Juice of 1 pomegranate (about 90ml)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Pudding

  • 600ml water
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 15 cardamom pods (sides split)
  • 3 pandan leaves
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 6tbsp corn flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp pomegranate syrup
  • red food colouring

Method: 

  • To prepare the pomegranate syrup, place the pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
  • Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes till the mixture thickens. Keep an eye on the mixture while it’s on heat. If it thickens too much, it’ll harden. You should still be able to drizzle the mixture even when it thickens. Once it thickens, set aside till needed for the pudding. This can be made ahead as it will store in the fridge for about 3 days.
  • To make the pudding, first prepare an 8cm cake tin by by greasing it with vegetable oil.
  • Next place the water, cinnamon, cardamom and pandan leaves in a saucepan and bring to boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until the water is fragrant. Strain and set aside to cool completely.
  • Pour the coconut milk in a clean saucepan and whisk in the sugar, corn flour and 450ml of the fragrant water.
  • Cook the mixture at medium heat until mixture thickens. When it thickens and starts bubbling, reduce the heat to low and cook for further 1-2 minutes while stirring the mixture. Then remove from heat and pour about 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
  • Next, working quickly, add the pomegranate syrup and food colouring to the remaining mixture and mix thoroughly. Dollop spoonfuls of pomegranate infused pudding on top of the plain mixture in the cake tin and use a skewer/knife tip to create a marble effect.
  • Set for one hour in the fridge and serve cut into pieces.

Sticky Date Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Sticky Date Pudding

As the weather gets cooler, I crave for a warm pudding. And sticky date pudding is an easy and delicious one to whip up! Such a comfort to eat the pudding with some cream, knowing that the temperature is dropping to single digits outside.

My first sticky date pudding was a Sara Lee sticky date. It wasn’t until I moved to Australia when I was able to eat a homemade sticky date pudding, and eating it with vanilla ice cream was just amazing. This became an immediate favourite. And surprisingly so, as I never used to like dates. I would like to think that the sticky date is an Aussie dessert, but it might have it’s roots in England. The sticky date is called Toffee pudding in England and it actually does remind me of a toffee-flavoured sweet we had when we were young.

Sticky Date Pudding

 

I looked at a few recipes and picked a few things I liked from different recipes to come up with this. I prefer pureeing the dates (as Jamie Oliver recommends) but a lot of people like getting the small bites of the dates, so I’ve come to a happy compromise by pureeing only half.

With the sugar and the dates that go in the recipe, I thought the cake would be too sweet, but trust me, it’s not. And when you soak the pudding (the more the better) with the sauce, it is absolutely delicious. I’ve made a salted caramel sauce but you can omit the salt and have a regular butterscotch sauce. While I’ve made this in individual ramekins this can also be made in a muffin tray or a cake pan (20cm square cake tin) as well.

Sticky Date Pudding

Ingredients
Serves 8-10
Sticky Date Pudding

  • 340g fresh dates, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ cups (375ml) boiling water
  • 1½ tsp bicarb soda
  • 150g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 cup (175g) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 80g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1½ cups (265g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) Single (pouring) cream
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven for 180 degrees.
  • Mix the dates and bicarbonate soda in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Rest for about 5 minutes.  Then puree half the date mixture in a food processor.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat till mixed.
  • Add the date mixtures (pureed and the chopped dates) into the egg mixture and mix using a wooden spoon. Fold in the self-raising flour and yoghurt till combined.
  • Pour the batter into greased individual ramekins or 20cm square cake tin (greased and lined with baking paper) and bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with skewer.
  • While the pudding is in the oven, make the sauce. Place the sugar, butter, salt and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook till sugar and butter has melted and till the mixture thickens.
  • Serve puddings with the sauce and dollop cream or ice cream.

Chocoflan

 

Chocoflan

My dessert making is mostly limited to Italian (panna cotta) or something chocolate or something Maldivian. Even with Maldivian desserts I am really limited to caramel pudding or kanamdhu cake. I really want to venture out to other cuisines.

As we were having a Mexican-themed dinner, I wanted to make a Mexican dessert and came across this recipe on SBS Food for a chocoflan. This cake is absolutely magical. I don’t know if this constitutes as a cake, but it really brings the best of both worlds, cake and flan together. This recipe reminded me of a simple trifle we made in the Maldives when I was younger. It was just layers of chocolate cake and custard, maybe some canned fruit cocktail mix if we were being fancy. And I absolutely loved this!

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Chocolate Panna Cotta with Honeycomb & Raspberries

Chocolate Panna Cotta

I’ve never been a huge fan of honeycomb. I just thought it would make a nice crunchy element for my chocolate panna cotta. The first time I saw honeycomb being made was when Reynold did it on Masterchef. I was wowed and amazed by the process and didn’t think I could make it until I saw it being made quite frequently in the following Masterchef seasons.

I had to make the honeycomb twice to get it right. I think I didn’t mix in the bicarbonate soda quickly enough in my first attempt, so the honeycomb did not set. There also was a layer of liquid sugar at the bottom. So for my second attempt, I hunted down a BBC GoodFood recipe with an accompanying a video that I found very useful.

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Easy, Chewy Brownies

Chocolate brownies

It has been a while since I have made brownies. I had actually forgotten how easy it is to bake a batch. I had to take something for a work afternoon tea and initially had though to baking a cake or making some cupcakes. But the thought of having to bring butter to room temperature, make a buttercream, or washing numerous bowls just left me feeling a bit tired.

The Milk and White Chocolate brownie recipe I had posted earlier is usually my go to recipe. But even that required some ingredients like sour cream which I did not have at home. Going to the supermarket at that time was not appealing so I needed to come up with a simple recipe but still featured one of my favourite things about my brownie recipe; chopped white chocolate bits which caramelised in the oven! And I was lucky I had some white chocolate in the pantry.

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Pistachio and Almond Cake with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Icing

Pistachio and almond and cake with pomegranate cream cheese icing

We are very close to the end of summer. At the moment, it is pomegranate season here and I enjoy seeing the pomegranate trees with the fruit starting to ripen, on my morning runs. I have never really associated pomegranates with summer, but I think I will make use of pomegranates more next summer, now I know when to expect it.

Pistachios and pomegranate have recently become one of my favourite flavour pairings. Not only just in taste, I am loving the colour combo of the green with pink too. This cake has a very pudding-like texture due to the high content of ground nuts and because of it being baked in a water bath. It is dense, but moist, and the cream cheese compliments the cake perfectly. This can also be made gluten-free quite easily by substituting the self-raising flour with gluten-free self-raising flour.

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