Lordy lordy - hahaha, just laughing at myself here - this is seriously my kind of pudding - fairly well drenched in rum, loaded with figs and with a dark, mellow chocolate undertone. All you need is a gi-normous blob of softly whipped cream and a quiet little corner to savour every mouthful - bliss! The other night Dad and his lovely friend Keiko came for dinner, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to take this dessert, which had been lurking around in the back of my head for ages, for a test drive. As it turned out, I couldn't stop myself from meddling and ended up making it twice - ah well, lots of sneaky little portion sized amounts tucked away in the freezer now, to pull out as the need arises - I foresee many occasions of need.
1 1/2 cups good quality dried figs, halved and stalky bits removed (or 50:50 figs and prunes)
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dark rum
100g butter, at room temperature / softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup dark rum
Put the chopped figs in a bowl and pour on boiling water. Stir in baking soda and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Add rum and leave to sit for another 30 minutes to an hour.
Butter a 23x18cm (or equivalent) baking dish. Pre-heat oven to 160˚C (325˚F). Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and smooth. Add eggs and beat to combine. In a food processor whiz rum and fig mixture (don't drain before hand) until it is a thick smooshy paste, still with a little bit of chunk. Add this to egg, sugar and butter mixture and beat briefly to combine. Sift in flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold all together. Spoon into prepared dish and flatten out with the back of a spoon. Put sugar and butter in a jug and pour in boiling water, whisk to melt butter, then add rum. Pour this over the back of a tablespoon, all over pudding. Pop in the oven and bake 45-50 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving in large wedges with the syrupy juices spooned over the top...and don't forget softly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Serves 6-8 little piggies. Oink! :)