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Chocolate and Poached Pear Self-Saucing Pudding

Recipe by Dominique Rizzo – Urban Feast Cooking School – @dominique_rizzourbanfeast

Serves 4-6

Self-saucing pudding is a delightful and indulgent dessert using simple, economic ingredients. It’s a unique dessert that offers a special twist to traditional puddings by magically creating its own sauce while baking, resulting in a delicious moist cake and a warm and gooey sauce in the one dish.

The contrast between the warm, soft pudding and the decadent sauce is simply irresistible. It pairs wonderfully with a scoop of creamy ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a drizzle of additional sauce for an extra indulgence. Do your best to use as many certified organic ingredients as possible!


Poached pears

  • 800ml water
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 pieces of peel of 1 lime
  • 4 organic pears, peeled, cored and cut in half

Pudding batter

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup organic milk of your choice
  • 4 and 1/2 tbsp organic butter or substitute, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lime or lemon

Pudding topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 and 1/4 cups boiling water


Poached pears

  1. Place all the ingredients except the pears in a saucepan, do not turn on the heat.
  2. Peel the pears, cut them in half and remove the seeds. Add the pear halves to the liquid and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, place a piece of baking paper on top of the pears to keep them covered as they will want to float out of the syrup.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the pears for 15 – 20 minutes until tender.
  4. Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat and allow the pears to cool in the sugar syrup. To check if they are cooked, take a paring knife, and push it into the middle of the fruit. If the pears feel soft, they are cooked. They can be served hot or cold.


  1. Preheat oven to 170C/335F (standard) or 150C/305F (fan forced / convection).
  2. Melt the butter, use some to grease an oven proof baking dish or tin that can hold about 1 ½ litres. Add the rest of the melted butter to the milk, egg, vanilla and zest in a bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
  3. For the topping, whisk the brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl, to combine and set aside.
  4. In a larger bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, cocoa powder and salt until well combined.  Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until combined – the batter will be quite thick.
  5. Spoon the batter into a baking dish and spread evenly.  Evenly spoon over the sugar/cocoa mixture.
  6. Using the back of a large spoon, carefully pour the hot water slowly and gently over the back of a dessert spoon so it evenly covers the pudding. Place the pears on top of the pudding. The pudding will rise around them, don’t worry if they are just sitting on top.
  7. Bake the pudding for 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when poked and the top looks crackled and dry to touch. Remove from the oven.
  8. As the pudding starts to cool the self-made sauce will start to absorb into the cake, so best served and eaten immediately, although it is still delicious the next day warmed.


About Dominique Rizzo


As a chef, restaurateur, author and TV presenter, my aim is to inspire people to cook with fresh, seasonal, local produce. When I am hosting cooking classes, my aim is to educate people and build confidence in the kitchen. At the same time, I live to inspire creative cooking to bring vitality onto people’s plates. I love sharing my passion for all things world food, with like-minded foodies and travellers.

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