A dinner party dessert recipe that's designed to wow your friends – no need to tell them how easy it is to make…
50 grams melted butter, plus extra butter for greasing
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, size 7
1¼ cups self-raising flour
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup ground walnuts
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1¼ cups boiling water
2 tablespoons whisky
Vanilla bean ice cream or softly whipped cream
Chopped toasted walnuts
Salted Caramel Sauce (see recipe below)
You will need a 2-litre capacity baking dish or 6 individual 350ml-capacity baking dishes, greased with butter.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the melted butter, milk and eggs into a jug and whisk to combine. Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large bowl and add the walnuts and brown sugar. Mix well to combine. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter mixture. Fold together until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dishes.
TOPPING: Put the brown sugar and cocoa powder in a jug. Add the boiling water and whisky; whisk to combine. Gently pour the mixture onto the batter over the back of a large tablespoon.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or 20-25 minutes for individual puddings, until the pudding has risen and is cooked through. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
TO SERVE: Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream or softly whipped cream and sprinkle with walnuts.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1½ cups caster sugar
1¼ cups cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
Place the caster sugar in a clean saucepan with ⅓ cup water and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve the sugar, then stop stirring.
In a second saucepan, heat the cream until just hot, not boiling. You could also do this in the microwave.
Continue heating the sugar mixture, using a small pastry brush to brush down any excess sugar from the sides of the pot, until the sugar first becomes white and crystallised, then starts to turn a light amber. To combine the sugar and encourage even caramelisation, give the pot a gentle swirl.
As soon as it is an even light golden colour, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the hot cream, ¼ cup at a time. It will froth up madly, but keep whisking and it will settle down. Add the butter and sea salt and whisk until smooth. Pour into a clean jar and store in the fridge until ready to use. Reheat by microwaving briefly or in a saucepan on the stovetop. MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS