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A rectangular, white enamel baking dish is filled with freshly baked steam oven chocolate pudding and garnished with thick cream and fresh raspberries. One serve has been scooped out of the dish and is in a round white bowl alongside.

Quick Self Saucing Steam Oven Chocolate Pudding

Self saucing chocolate pudding is beloved in Australia, and this steam oven chocolate pudding is my modern variation on the nostalgia classic. 

I remember making baked chocolate pudding my high school home economics class. My teacher called it an important ‘back pocket dessert’. It was considered critical to building a young person’s cooking skills. I’m not sure how critical many of my classmates found it, but you could say it certainly helped build my skills! 😉

My steam oven baked chocolate pudding is a rustic, comforting dessert that you can whip up any time you like using mostly pantry staples. You don’t even have to buy chocolate, as all the chocolate flavor here comes from cocoa. And although you’re using staple ingredients, the finished chocolate pudding is rich, with a velvety texture and an intense flavor.

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Why steam oven baking vs regular oven?

Using combi steam to make this chocolate pudding recipe has very specific benefits.

Firstly, the pudding cooks fast. Where you’d normally bake a self saucing pudding for a good half hour, the steam oven cuts it down to a bare 20 minutes. This is thanks to the humidity in your oven; it supercharges your oven’s heat and carries that heat to the food much more efficiently. 

More than speed, though, you end up with a tender cake-like crumb in the pudding, and a generous amount of sauce that’s the perfect thickness for spooning over the top when you serve. 

A hand holds a round white bowl, while another hand spoons steam oven chocolate pudding into the bowl from a large baking dish that's visible in the background.

The cake part stays moist and tender because it’s cooking faster and losing less moisture. And the sauce is, um saucier. No one wants to bake a self saucing pudding without a really generous amount of sauce, and the steam oven delivers here because the liquid in the sauce doesn’t mostly evaporate away during cooking. Instead, it stays in the oven, and in your sauce. 

All of that to say, regular oven self saucing chocolate pudding has nothing on the steam oven version.

Tips for perfect steam oven chocolate pudding

There are a few things to know about this pudding recipe that will elevate it from good to truly exceptional with very little extra effort. 

Cocoa powder

Because all the chocolate flavor in this baked pudding comes from cocoa, you need a good, rich, deep flavored cocoa powder. I almost always use Dutch processed cocoa powder as it’s darker and smoother tasting than regular cocoa.

A gold spoon sprinkles cocoa and sugar over the top of a chocolate pudding batter, to make self saucing chocolate pudding

Baking dish size and material

The baking dish in the pictures is enamel coated lightweight steel, about 6 inches by 8 inches (15x20cm) in the base, tapering out roughly an inch (2.5cm) each way towards the top. It holds 1.5 quarts/litres. 

I’ve baked this pudding in many types of dishes over the years, including heavy cast iron, glass and ceramic. I prefer the lighter weight pan because it conducts the heat faster during cooking. A heavier material will make the pudding cook a few minutes slower. 

You can make the pudding in a larger/shallower dish and get a thinner pudding as a result. If you do this, check it after 15 minutes because it can overbake quickly when it’s not as deep.  

Assembling your steam oven pudding before baking

If you’ve never made a self saucing chocolate pudding before, the assembly part will seem strange. The cake batter gets spread into the pan, then you sprinkle cocoa and sugar over that and pour boiling water over the whole thing. It’s all topsy turvy and it looks weird and you’ll wonder how on earth it’s going to create a velvety, saucy pudding. 

Trust the process!

When you spread the batter into the dish, smooth it out nicely so it’s very even. And the same goes for sprinkling the sugar and cocoa powder over the batter. Scatter it evenly, and when you’re done, give the dish a little shake from side to side so all the cocoa/sugar is spread into a thin layer. 

A rectangular white baking dish full of steam oven chocolate pudding batter. A jug of boiling water and a spoon are visible, ready to pour the water over the mixture to create a sauce.

When you pour the water over everything, use the back of a spoon to ‘guide’ the water onto the pudding without creating huge craters and peaks. The spoon softens the fall of the water and helps the pudding stay an even thickness all over.  

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Serving your steam oven chocolate pudding

The traditional way to serve self saucing chocolate pudding is by scooping up the sponge layer in large, chunky ‘mountains’, then spooning the glossy sauce over the top. You could cut through the cake part with a knife and serve neat squares or rectangles, but in my book it would never be the same.

A freshly baked steam oven self saucing chocolate pudding, being set onto a cloth and a wooden chopping board ready to serve.

Although you could reheat leftovers another time, steam oven chocolate pudding is best eaten straight after baking. The longer it sits, the more the sauce layer absorbs into the cake layer, so eventually you’ll have a dense and rich brownie-like cake. Very nice, but not the saucy delight we’re going for here. 

I love this chocolate baked pudding with thick (or even clotted) cream, or ice cream. I know some who swear by vanilla custard. If that’s your thing, you can find my steam oven no-stir custard in my Steam Oven Baking cookbook.

A top-down view of steam oven chocolate pudding; a small bowl holds a single serve of the pudding while the rest is in a white baking dish with a large silver spoon resting in the dish. Fresh cream and raspberries adorn the pudding.

Berries are optional but I’m of the belief that raspberries or strawberries make almost all chocolate desserts even better. Plus they’re downright pretty. 

I really hope you’ll give this steam oven chocolate pudding a try. It’s easy enough to whip up on a weeknight and special enough to serve to visitors. Plus, once you have friends and family try a steam oven baked chocolate pudding, you might find they go in search of a steam oven so they can make this outstanding dessert too!

A serving of steam oven chocolate baked pudding viewed from the side. The pudding is in a small white ceramic bowl with a silver spoon in the bowl. A baking dish with the rest of the pudding is in the background and both are adorned with raspberries and cream.

Happy steam oven baking, see you here again soon. 

Have you made and enjoyed this recipe? I’d love if you’d be kind enough to rate and review it via the stars in the recipe card, or leave a comment below! Ratings and reviews help other readers to find and know whether one of my recipes will suit them.

A rectangular, white enamel baking dish is filled with freshly baked steam oven chocolate pudding and garnished with thick cream and fresh raspberries. One serve has been scooped out of the dish and is in a round white bowl alongside.
Print Recipe
5

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

One of the great comfort dessert classics, chocolate self saucing pudding is like a magic trick! One dish of batter bakes into a layer of perfect chocolate cake with a rich, silky chocolate sauce underneath.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: baked chocolate pudding, self saucing chocolate pudding, steam oven baked chocolate pudding, steam oven chocolate pudding
Servings: 6
Calories: 376kcal

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed; I use dark brown, light is also fine
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder Dutch-process is ideal, regular unsweetened will work too
  • 1/4 tsp flaky salt a small pinch
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water

Pudding batter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C, combi steam setting. If your oven has variable humidity, choose 50%/medium steam. If not, don't worry! Just set to combi steam at the correct temperature and the oven will sort out the steam level.
  • Lightly grease a 1.5qt/1.5L lightweight enamel baking dish, and set aside.
  • Whisk the brown sugar, cocoa powder and salt for the sauce in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a separate bowl.
    1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp flaky salt, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp flaky salt
  • In a small jug, whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla.
    1/2 cup whole milk, 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until combined It will be a thick batter, this is normal.
  • Spread the batter into your baking dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with sugar and cocoa mixture, then shake gently to even out this layer.
  • Carefully pour the boiling water over the back of a soup or dessert spoon, all over the top of the pudding – see notes.
    1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • Carefully place into the oven and bake until the top of the pudding springs back when poked lightly and the underneath seems 'jiggly', about 20 minutes. Don't overbake or you'll end up with no sauce.
  • Remove from oven and let it stand for 2-3 minutes, then serve immediately, scooped into bowls with cream or ice cream on top.

Notes

  1. Cocoa powder: Because all the chocolate flavor in this baked pudding comes from cocoa, you need a good, rich, deep flavored cocoa powder. I almost always use Dutch processed cocoa powder as it’s darker and smoother tasting than regular cocoa.
  2. Baking dish size and material: My baking dish is enamel coated lightweight steel, about 6 inches by 8 inches (15x20cm) in the base, tapering out roughly an inch (2.5cm) each way towards the top. It holds 1.5 quarts/litres. I prefer the lighter weight pan because it conducts the heat faster during cooking. A heavier material will make the pudding cook a few minutes slower.  You can make the pudding in a larger/shallower dish and get a thinner pudding as a result. If you do this, check it after 15 minutes because it can overbake quickly when it’s not as deep. 
  3. Pouring water over the pudding during assembly: When you pour the water over everything, use the back of a spoon to ‘guide’ the water onto the pudding without creating huge craters and peaks. The spoon softens the fall of the water and helps the pudding stay an even thickness all over.  
  4. Serving: The traditional way to serve self saucing chocolate pudding is by scooping up the sponge layer in large, chunky ‘mountains’, then spooning the glossy sauce over the top. You could cut through the cake part with a knife and serve neat squares or rectangles, but in my book it would never be the same. Serve with thick cream, ice cream or custard. Berries optional. 
  5. Reheating: Although you can reheat leftovers, the pudding is best eaten straight after baking. The longer it sits, the more the sauce layer absorbs into the cake layer, so eventually you’ll have a dense and rich brownie-like cake. Very nice, but not saucy. 

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 266IU | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 3mg

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