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Chocolate Pudding With Rum Custard

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115g/4oz/ cup butter, plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz/ cup soft light brown sugar 2 eggs, beaten
Drops of vanilla essence (extract)
45ml/3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
115g/4oz/1 cup self-raising (self-rising) flour
75g/3oz bitter (semisweet) chocolate, chopped
A little milk, warmed

For the rum custard

250ml/8fl oz/1 cup milk
15ml/1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
2 egg yolks
10ml/2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp rum


Serves: 6


1. Lightly grease a 1.2 litre/2 pint/5 cup heatproof bowl or six individual dariole moulds. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Gently blend in the eggs and the vanilla essence.

2. Sift together the cocoa and flour, and fold gently into the egg mixture with the chopped chocolate and sufficient milk to give a soft dropping consistency.

3. Spoon the mixture into the basin or moulds, cover with buttered greaseproof paper and tie down. Fill a pan with 2.5-5cm/1-2in water, place the puddings in the pan, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Steam the large pudding for 1½-2 hours and the individual puddings for 45-50 minutes, topping up with water if necessary. When firm, turn out on to warm plates.

4. To make the rum custard, bring the milk and sugar to the boil. Whisk together the egg yolks and cornflour, then pour on the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and stir continuously while it slowly comes back to the boil. Allow the sauce to simmer gently as it thickens, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.

COOK'S TIP:- To microwave, spoon the mixture into a microwave-proof basin (at least 300ml/ pint/1 cups larger than necessary). Cover loosely with clear film (plastic wrap) and microwave on full power for 5 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Energy 458Kcal/1915kj; Protein 8.3g; Carbohydrate 49g, of which sugars 31.5g; Fat 25.6g, of which saturates 14.5g; Cholesterol 186mg; Calcium 145mg; Fibre 1.8g; Sodium 302mg

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