Matt's Recipe Book

Chocolate pudding

Prep time20 minutes
Cooking time1 hour 30 minutes

This is a useful Christmas alternative for people who aren't fans of the traditional pudding – but it's great any other time of the year too! It's basically a soft chocolate sponge cake, but steamed instead of baked, and accompanied by a rich chocolate ganache-style sauce. It keeps for a couple of days in the fridge – so you can also make it in advance and just microwave it along with the sauce for 5-6 mintues when you're ready to serve.

You can scale this one up or down for bigger or smaller puddings as required – adjust the steaming time up or down a bit as well if you do this. The recipe is also pretty friendly to any additions you might want to make to the batter, so you can make a bunch of different varieties. In the past, I've made it with:

  • A handful of crystalized ginger pieces
  • Orange zest plus 1tsp of orange extract
  • 100g of chopped fudge pieces
  • 100g white chocolate chunks
  • Peppermint extract

Just add any of the above after the batter is mixed and ready, and just make sure you stir to combine thoroughly before cooking.


  • Large 1.7L pudding basin with a lid
  • Pan large enough to the pudding basin
  • Aluminium foil


For the pudding

  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g softened butter
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

For the ganache sauce

  • 125g milk chocolate
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 250ml double cream
  • 75g golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste


  1. Butter the pudding basin and lid, then start boiling a pot of water large enough to steam the pudding in.
  2. Add all of the pudding ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth – or do it by hand. Scrape down a couple of times to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour the batter into the pudding basin, then grease a square of foil and wrap tightly around the top of the basin before putting the lid on.
  4. Place the pudding in the boiling water, pop the lid on the pot, and steam for about 90 minutes. The pudding will rise almost to the top.
  5. While the pudding is steaming, make the sauce. Start by putting all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and placing over a low heat, stirring now and again until all melted. Remove from the heat and whisk until you have a glossy, smooth sauce.
  6. When the pudding has cooked, remove from the pan, then remove the lid and foil. Check that the pudding is cooked through by inserting a knife or wooden skewer into the center – when you remove it, it should come out mostly dry and not have any uncooked batter on the end. Return to the pot and continue steaming for another 10 minutes if required, or until it's ready.
  7. Once cooked, leave to cool for a few minutes, then cover with a plate and flip over to release the pudding.
  8. Pour half of the sauce over the pudding, and serve the rest alongside. Also goes great with ice cream.