Given these things, resorting to a classic like chocolate self-saucing pudding seems pretty much compulsory - how can you resist a bowlful of hot, spongy, chocolatey pud?
Growing up, we didn't usually have dessert, but the deal was that if I wanted it (which I always did!) I could make it (which I sometimes did, depending on motivation levels and how much homework I had to pretend to be doing). Chocolate self-saucing pudding was a frequent contender, since it takes almost no time to put together - and we had a microwave recipe which only took about 10 minutes to cook. Today I've gone with the classic Edmonds, with the cocoa amped up and some chocolate chips added, because there is no such thing as too much chocolate (I hope you agree - I seem to have a theme going on at the moment!).
What comfort foods do you dive for when the cold starts creeping in?
Chocolate Self-saucing Pudding
100g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornflour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 180 C. Beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and cocoa then fold into the mixture. Spoon into an ovenproof dish (approx 8 cup capacity - a loaf tin isn't quite big enough, but you can always put some into a smaller container if you have surplus).
Mix together the dry ingredients for the sauce and sprinkle over the pudding. Carefully pour the boiling water onto the pudding, using the back of a spoon to avoid making holes in it. Bake for 35 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched (I often take mine out a bit gooey, cos I like it like that, so I only cooked mine for about 30).