- 200g prunes
- 175ml stout or a dark, fruity beer (Theakston's Old Peculier is good, or try a fruit beer, particularly one with damsons)
- 175g butter, at room temperature, plus more for the basin
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 30g cocoa powder
- 150g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…
- 2 tsp baking powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…
- 190g soft dark brown sugar
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 80g walnuts, 30g blitzed in a food processor, 50g toasted
Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…
- 75g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…
For the chocolate sauce
- 175g plain chocolate, chopped
- 100ml double cream
- 75ml stout or dark fruity beer
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- crème fraîche or cream, to serve
Put the prunes in a dish with the stout and leave to soak overnight. The next day, strain and reserve the stout, and set the prunes aside.
Butter a 1.5-litre pudding basin really well. Sift the cocoa powder together with the flour, bicarb and baking powder. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the sifted ingredients, alternating with the reserved stout, followed by all the walnuts, the dark chocolate and soaked prunes. Scrape the batter into the prepared basin.
Put a piece of baking parchment on top of a sheet of foil (both large enough to cover the top of the basin). Fold a pleat along the middle, then place, parchment-side down, on top of the pudding, with the pleat across the centre. Tie firmly in place with string, using the string to make a handle. Trim the excess parchment and foil.
Put the pudding in a large saucepan with a lid, then pour in enough boiling water to come one-third of the way up the side of the basin. Bring the water to a simmer, cover the pan and steam the pudding for 1¾ hrs, making sure that the pan doesn’t boil dry. Leave to sit for 10 mins.
For the sauce, put the chocolate in a bowl. Pour the cream, stout and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot, then pour over the chocolate. Leave to sit for 2 mins or so. Stir until smooth.
To turn the pudding out, run a knife around the edge of the basin. Set a serving plate on top of the pudding, invert, give it a bit of a shake and it should slide out. Pour some of the chocolate sauce over the top and offer the rest in a jug, with some crème fraîche or whipped cream on the side.