Calling all school dinner lovers, this recipe might just be up your street!
I hope like me, you were lucky enough to have experienced chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce whilst you were growing up. I was double lucky, as not only did I get to tuck into it at school, my mum also made it for us at home! So, to be honest, whilst for you, chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce may transport you back to your school dinner days, for me it’s another thing that reminds me of my mum.
Rather than cutting the chocolate sponge into squares, my mum would spoon the soft sponge from a glass Pyrex dish. And then, my portion of chocolate sauce would be poured out first, as the skin from the top always belonged to me! I know skin from custard, sauces and rice puds may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it!
This deliciously soft, gluten free version of chocolate sponge is so, so easy to make, and I just know you will love the crispy sugar topping – a bit of a trademark of my mums and grandmas homemade sponge puddings. And how lovely I now get to share all these little things I’ve learnt from them with you!
On this occasion, I used Sainsburys gluten free self-raising flour to make the chocolate sponge. I like to try out various gluten free flours, but this is one of my current favourites and is very easy to get hold of in the UK.
For the chocolate sponge (9 – 12 portions)
200g (7oz) Lurpak spreadable butter (full fat variety) or softened block butter
175g (6oz) gluten free self-raising flour or mix (if you are using gf mix rather than SR flour I would recommend you add a teaspoon of gf baking powder)
200g (7oz) caster sugar
4 large eggs
Caster sugar to sprinkle on the top
For the chocolate sauce (serves 4)
1 pint (20 fl oz) full fat milk – you can use semi skimmed but it’s gorgeous with full fat!
2 tablespoons *Cadburys hot chocolate (or *cocoa is you prefer a richer sauce, but don’t add as much – about a heaped tablespoon will probably do it)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar – caster will be fine if that’s all you have in the cupboard
1 rounded tablespoon *cornflour
Preheat oven 180C/325F/Gas 4/160C Fan
Grease and line a baking tin – approximate size 10 x 7 inch 1½ inch depth .
Pop all the ingredients for the chocolate sponge into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk together with an electric mixer until everything is well blended and the mixture is nice and smooth.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin. Sprinkle with lots of caster sugar and pop in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Check the sponge is cooked by pressing the top gently – it should be firm but springy. You can also double check it’s cooked, by inserting a cake tester or sharp knife into the middle of the sponge – it should be nice and clean when you remove it.
For the chocolate sauce:
Pour most of the milk into a saucepan – reserve about 2 fl oz in the measuring jug. Add the drinking chocolate and sugar to the pan and give it a good whisk to blend in the chocolate and pop the pan onto the heat.
Add the cornflour to the remaining cold milk and mix until blended. Once the milk is just coming up to the boil, whisk in the cold milk and cornflour. The sauce will start to thicken. Continue whisking until its nice and smooth. Give it a quick taste to check the cornflour has been cooked out. If it tastes a little powdery, put it back on the heat again until it just starts to bubble. Check for sweetness too, in case you feel the need to add a bit more sugar.
Transfer the sauce into a serving jug. Stand for a minute or so, to allow the skin to form on the top of the sauce. Remove the skin (and eat it, if like me you love it!) and pour the sauce over the chocolate sponge squares! The sponge will work well served warm or cold.
Few extra things to mention that may help:
I have suggested a larger quantity for the chocolate sponge as I thought you may like to freeze what you don’t need for a later date (it will also store well in a cake tin for about 3-4 days). Or you can just enjoy what you have left topped with buttercream, fresh cream, *melted chocolate or simply dusted with icing sugar or cocoa powder!
The sponge and sauce can be made dairy free by switching the butter to a dairy free margarine for the sponge and making the chocolate sauce with dairy free milk and using cocoa (but do double check for milk or may contain warnings on the pack).
Also, if you are on a low sugar diet, the sponge will work with less sugar and you can also make the sauce with *cocoa and a natural sugar substitute.
And finally, the chocolate sauce works really well with poached or tinned pears. And is very nice with a good *vanilla ice cream too!
Hope you like this recipe. Please have a go at making it and let me know how you get on.
If you love your hot puds. This ginger sponge is absolutely gorgeous with thick hot *custard!
*Check this product out to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out!