Chocolate and Chestnut Pudding

This is extremely rich. You can use sweeteened chestnut purée, but leave out the sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb / 455 g unsweetened chestnut purée
  • 4 oz / 110 g icing sugar, sifted (or more to taste)
  • 8 oz / 230 g best-quality plain chocolate
  • 4 oz / 110 g unsalted butter, softened

Method

Mix the chestnut purée and icing sugar until smooth. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of hot water, and incorporate this into the chestnut mixture with the butter. The final blend should be a soft, dark, rich paste. Line an oiled 2 lb / 900 g loaf tin with a strip of foil or cling film to help you unmould the pudding. Spoon in the mixture, and tap the tin hard to settle it. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, turn the pudding out on to a board or plate, and cut into slices with a sharp knife dipped in hot water. Dust it and the plate with a little icing sugar for extra effect, or serve it with a sauce.

A very quick sauce can be made by gently melting white chocolate, blending in some single cream or full-cream milk, a little at a time, until it is smooth pouring consistency. The sauce can be warm or cool. Certain types of fruit sauce would also go with the chocolate and chestnut pudding; soaked dried apricots can be made into a purée, as can bottled cherries or frozen raspberries, or try heating some marmalade with a tablespoon of rum and sieving it to make a clean, bitter-sweet rummy syrup.

Variation

Add pure vanilla essence, brandy or rum to the pudding mixture.

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