This rich, sticky chocolate cake is given a low-fat 'bakeover', then served with chocolate custard for a perfect retro, weekend pud
- 300g stoned date, chopped
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 350g light muscovado sugar
- 200g wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 100g cocoa
- 5 tbsp custard powder
- 5 tbsp light muscovado sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1.2l skimmed milk
- 125ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 25g fresh white breadcrumb
- 500g spaghetti
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tiny dried bird's eye chillies, finely crumbled, or a quarter tsp crushed chillies
- finely grated zest 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp caper in brine, drained
- 85g rocket leaves
- 200g hot-smoked salmon, flaked
- sliced tomatoes, to serve
- Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a small frying pan until hot. Add the breadcrumbs and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp, turning often. Tip into a small bowl. (You can prepare these several hours ahead.)
- Cook the pasta in plenty of gently boiling well-salted water until al dente. Meanwhile peel the garlic and chop it very finely. Put the rest of the oil in a small pan and add the garlic and chillies. Warm gently over a low heat so they flavour the oil – but don’t let the garlic fry.
- Drain the pasta and tip it into a warmed very large serving bowl. Quickly add the lemon zest and capers to the oil, then pour over the pasta. Toss well, add the rocket and salmon and toss again – take care not to break up the salmon too much. Scatter the breadcrumbs over and serve with a salad of sliced tomatoes.
- 250g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 250g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50ml milk
- 250ml milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 25g caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- few drops vanilla extract
- 75g caster sugar
- 25g butter
- 50ml double cream
- Butter a 1.5-litre pudding basin. To make the sponge, cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition, then add the vanilla extract.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold into the sponge mixture, ensuring there are no lumps of flour remaining. Finally, stir the milk into the mixture.
- Fill the basin with the sponge mixture and cover with a double layer of buttered foil and baking parchment, making a pleat in the centre to allow the pudding to rise. Tie the foil securely with string, then place in a steamer or large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the basin. Steam for 2 hrs until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- To make the custard, bring the milk to the boil. In a bowl, beat together the yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Pour the scalded milk over the egg mix and beat well. Return to the pan and place over a low heat, stirring for a few mins until the mix begins to thicken. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
- For the butterscotch sauce, dissolve the sugar with 2 tbsp water over a low heat. Bring to the boil; do not stir. When the sugar has turned into a dark, golden caramel, whisk in the butter. Remove from the heat and stir the cream through.
- When the sponge is cooked, turn out onto a plate, drizzle with the butterscotch sauce and serve with the custard.
- 500ml pot good-quality vanilla ice-cream
- 12 biscotti biscuits
- 100g bar good-quality dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 200ml (about 1 mug) freshly-made strong coffee
- Leave the ice cream out of the freezer for 5 mins to soften, then tip into a bowl. Meanwhile, put six of the biscotti into a freezer bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin, fold into the ice cream, then return to the freezer.
- Break the chocolate into a pan or microwaveable bowl, add the brandy and heat gently until melted or microwave on High for 30 secs. Stir (it will thicken), then pour in the hot coffee and carry on stirring until smooth.
- Scoop the ice cream into heatproof glasses or bowls, then pour the mocha over. Serve straight away with the remaining biscotti.