Selected by “Nerd Consultant” Calvin
• 400g frozen black cherries, defrosted
• 200g light soft brown sugar
• 50g cocoa powder
• pinch of salt
• 125ml milk
• 60ml vegetable oil
• 100g muscovado sugar
• 150ml just-boiled water
• 25ml Kirsch or rum (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Butter a 2-litre pudding dish, then tip in the cherries – no need to strain them. Give the dish a shake so they are evenly distributed.
For the sponge, mix the self-raising flour with the light soft brown sugar, cocoa powder and a generous pinch of salt. Whisk the milk and vegetable oil together and then pour them over the dry ingredients. Mix until you have a smooth batter, then spoon this over the cherries.
For the sauce, mix the cocoa with the muscovado sugar and sprinkle this evenly over the batter. Pour over the water and Kirsch, if using. Bake the pudding in the oven for 30–35 minutes. The top will turn into a cracked chocolate sponge and the bottom will have a rich, chocolatey sauce around the cherries. If the sponge is still wet in the middle, continue to cook for a few more minutes. If it looks black around the edges, don’t worry, it won’t be burnt.
Serve hot or at room temperature (the sauce will thicken as it cools) with cream.
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