About this recipe:A great British favourite, this version of queen of puddings has a chocolate-flavoured base and is given the modern treatment with more fruit and less sugar and fat. Whenever there is leftover bread, turn it into breadcrumbs, by grating or whizzing in a food processor, then freeze until needed for a dish like this.
85 g (3 oz) caster sugar
300 ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
50 g (1¾ oz) fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
150 g (5½ oz) raspberries, plus more to decorate
15 g (½ oz) flaked almonds
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Break 1 egg into a bowl. Separate the remaining 2 eggs, adding the yolks to the bowl with the whole egg, and placing the whites in a separate large bowl to set aside for the meringue.
Add 30g (1 oz) of the sugar to the egg and yolks and whisk together until smoothly blended. Put the milk and cocoa in a saucepan and heat to boiling point. Whisk into the egg yolk mixture, then add the breadcrumbs.
Pour the mixture into 4 large individual soufflé dishes or into a shallow baking dish and set aside for 20 minutes so that the breadcrumbs can absorb some of the liquid. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3).
Bake the pudding base, allowing 20 minutes for soufflé dishes or 30 minutes for a baking dish, until set.
Meanwhile, heat the redcurrant jelly gently in a saucepan until melted. Add the raspberries and crush lightly with the back of a spoon to mix them into the melted jelly. Heat gently for 2 minutes, then leave to cool.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the remaining 55g (2 oz) of sugar and continue whisking until the meringue is glossy. Spoon the raspberry mixture over the pudding. Top with the meringue, piling it up and swirling into a peak. Sprinkle over the almonds.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the meringue is pale golden brown. Serve immediately, decorated with a few extra raspberries.
Some more ideas
Instead of raspberries and redcurrant jelly, use a mixture of chopped fresh apricots and apricot jam, or dried chopped apricots poached in a little apple juice until thick. Using dried apricots will boost the iron content. * Omit the cocoa powder and flavour the custard with ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg or five-spice powder. * Top the meringue with chopped or flaked hazelnuts instead of almonds.
Raspberries not only provide plenty of vitamin C (32 mg per 100 g/3½ oz), but also contain the fat-soluble vitamin E. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, also found in vegetables such as spinach and broccoli as well as in vegetable oils and nuts. The effects of vitamin E are enhanced by other antioxidants such as vitamin C and selenium, present here in the almonds. * Using cocoa powder instead of chocolate to flavour the base reduces the fat and increases the amount of iron.