DULCHE DE LECHE
395 g (14 oz) tin of condensed milk
125 g (4½ oz) butter, softened
125 g (4½ oz/2⁄3 cup, lightly packed) soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large free-range eggs
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) self-raising flour 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) dark chocolate melts, chopped in half
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) milk
180 g (6½ oz/½ cup) dulche de leche (half the amount from recipe above)
1½ tablespoons crunchy natural peanut butter (no added salt or sugar)
thick (double/heavy) cream, to serve
Start by making the dulche de leche. Place the tin of condensed milk on its side in a large saucepan. Cover with water so it is submerged by at least 5 cm (2 inches). Bring to a simmer, then leave to simmer for 3 hours, topping up the water regularly so the tin remains completely submerged. Carefully remove the tin from the water. Allow to cool before opening. Spoon into a bowl and whisk until smooth. You’ll only need half the resulting dulche de leche in the pudding; the rest will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Grease a 1.5 litre (51 fl oz/6 cup) steamed pudding basin (mould) and line the base with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until fluffy and well combined. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and mix in the chocolate melts. Fold into the egg mixture with the milk until combined. In a separate bowl, mix the dulche de leche and peanut butter together.
Spoon half the chocolate mixture into the pudding basin. Spoon in the dulche de leche mixture, then cover with the remaining chocolate mixture. Grease a sheet of baking paper and use it to cover the top of the pudding basin. Top with two layers of foil, then secure with string.
Fill a large saucepan one-third full of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Place the pudding basing in the saucepan and cover with a lid. Gently simmer for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the top of the pudding, through the foil, comes out almost clean, but a little fudgy.
Carefully remove the pudding from the water, then remove the string, foil and paper. Invert the pudding onto a plate. Slice into wedges and serve with thick cream.
Images and recipes from Low & Slow: Comfort Food for Cold Nights by Louise Franc.