Recently we’ve become more adventurous with our desserts while we’re camping and I’ve set myself some challenges to create ever more delicious desserts cooked over a camp fire. This rich, gooey chocolate pudding is my latest creation and was most recently used to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday while camping at Abercrombie River National Park. It’s a fantastic end to a meal eaten under the stars, but it can just as easily be cooked in your oven at home (see the end of the recipe) and for my friend’s 40th, I stuck candles in the top and served it as afternoon tea. It’s pretty forgiving so don’t worry if you can’t follow the exact measurements. If you’re cooking this while camping, make your life much easier by following these three suggestions:

1: before you leave home, weigh out the dry ingredients for the pudding and the sauce and put into two labelled ziplock bags,

2. write the remaining ingredients and quantities on one of the bags in case you forget the recipe,

3. write the liquid capacity of your camping mug onto the mug itself, so then you can use your mug for the wet ingredients instead of having to worry about a cup measure or a jug.

Chocolate pudding

All that dark stuff on the right is the gooey sauce that forms while it cooks!

Serves about 8 (although our latest one served 6 adults and 6 kids)

Pudding:

150 g (1 cup) self-raising flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

100 g (½ cup lightly packed) brown sugar

80 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable or olive oil

125 ml (½ cup) cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

thick cream, to serve

berries, to serve (optional)

Sauce:

125 g (¾ cup lightly packed) brown sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

310 ml (1 ¼) cups boiling water

Brush the base and lower sides of you camp oven with some oil. Combine the flour, cocoa and sugar in a large bowl.

Make a well in the middle and add the oil, milk and egg.

Choc pudding ingredientsWhisk or mix until well combined. Spoon into the camp oven and smooth the top.

To make the gooey sauce (which will end up on the bottom), combine the sugar and cocoa and sprinkle over the top of the pudding.

Choc pudding topping

  Slowly pour the water over the top of the pudding until it is all covered. Put the lid on.

Water on top of puddingPut your camp oven in amongst the coals, but do not sit it directly on the coals or it will burn. Put some coals on the lid as well. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the pudding springs back when gently pressed, the time really will depend on the heat of your coals. Scoop out the pudding and the gooey sauce at the bottom and serve with lots of cream. If you’ve got any fruit like blueberries, raspberries or strawberries these will go really well too.

Campfire chocolate pudding* If you’re making this at home, put all the ingredients into a Le Creuset or similar ovenproof casserole dish, cover with a lid and bake for about 25 minutes at 170 degrees C or until the top feels springy.

For more great camping recipes check out my cookbook Hungry Campers Cookbook (published by Explore Australia) available from BigW, Myer, Dymocks, many independent book stores and on-line.