Self-saucing Valentine chocolate cake.



175g/6oz brown sugar (Fairtrade)

30g/1oz cocoa powder (Fairtrade)

310ml/11oz boiling water from the kettle


150g/50oz plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

110g/4oz caster sugar

30g /1oz cocoa powder (Fairtrade)

Pinch of salt

50g/2oz melted butter

125ml/4oz milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 170c/Gas Mark 3.

2. Grease a 1.5 litre ovenware dish or similar container with butter.

3. For the topping, mix the brown sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl, then set aside.

4. In a large roomy mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

5. In a jug or cup, whisk together the melted butter from the microwave with the milk, beaten egg and vanilla essence.

6. Pour the egg mixture from the jug into the flour mixture, and combine well with a wooden spoon or electric hand whisk to a thickish batter texture.

7. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared ovenware dish with a plastic spatula.

8. Sprinkle over the sugar and cocoa mixture and shake gently to spread out evenly.

9. Carefully pour the hot water over the back of a tablespoon from a jug all over the top of the pudding for a smooth liquid bubbling surface.

10. Carefully place the dish on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when poked lightly. The top should be crusty like a brownie.

11. Remove from oven and stand for a few minutes before serving up, as the sauce will absorbed into the cake and thickens up.

12. Any leftovers can be reheated in the microwave oven.

13. Serve with fresh cream, or ice cream dusting over a little cocoa powder or icing sugar.

14. And remember, please use Fairtrade ingredients where possible, no chocolate for the dog, and don’t fall asleep!