Chocolate orange pond pudding
This is my take on Sussex pond pudding – the classic suet pud boiled with a whole lemon inside. I use a whole orange instead and add chocolate. The juice from the fruit combines with the melted chocolate, butter and sugar to create an irresistible sauce that floods out as the pudding is cut – hence the title.
Equipment and preparation: you will need a 1.2 litre/2 pints pudding basin.
Grease a 1.2 litre/2 pints pudding basin with butter.
Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar and suet together in a large bowl. Finely grate the zest of the orange and mix this in too. Gradually work in enough milk to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Take a third of the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Invert the basin onto the pastry and cut around it to form a lid. Add the offcuts to the remaining pastry and roll out to a circle, about 30cm/12in in diameter. Use this to line the pudding basin. Make sure there are no cracks in the pastry.
Put half of the butter, dark brown sugar and chocolate in the lined basin. Pierce the zested orange all over with a skewer and sit it on top. Add the remaining butter, sugar and chocolate.
Dampen the pastry edges with milk or water and put the pastry lid on top. Press the edges together to seal and trim off the excess.
Place a piece of baking parchment on a sheet of foil and make a large pleat in the middle, folding both sheets together. Put the parchment and foil on top of the pudding, foil-side up, and secure with string, looping the end of the string over the top of the pudding and tying it to form a handle.
Place the basin in a large pan, and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and let the pudding steam for 2¼ hours. Top up the boiling water during this time, if necessary, so the pan doesn’t boil dry.
Carefully remove the basin from the pan, remove the paper and foil and release the sides of the pudding from the basin with a small knife, if necessary. Put a large plate or deep dish on top of the basin and invert it to turn out the pudding.
Serve at once, cutting into the pudding carefully as the juices flood out (the orange isn’t intended to be eaten). Serve with cold cream.