This is not your usual chocolate dessert. This delicious confection is deep, decadent and incredibly moist. The warm ganache really puts it over the top.
Technique tip: The pudding can be made up to one day ahead. Cool, wrap tightly in plastic and keep at room temperature. To rewarm pudding, unwrap and return it to a buttered pudding basin (also called a steam bowl). Cover and steam pudding over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until heated through. Transfer basin to a rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Invert pudding onto a plate.
For the pudding:1.
Generously brush lid and inside of a nonstick metal 2-quart pudding basin (aka steam bowl) with half of the butter. Line bottom of basin with a disc of parchment paper. Brush paper and basin with remaining butter and refrigerate.2.
In a small saucepan, bring 2/3 cup of water to a simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk for about 1 minute, or until mixture has thickened slightly. Set aside to cool.3.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and oil to blend. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour to the bowl mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk between each addition. Whisk in cocoa powder mixture.4.
Pour batter into prepared basin and cover with lid. Place a small heatproof saucer in the bottom of a tall pot. Place the basin on the saucer. Pour enough boiling water into the pot to come about halfway up sides of the basin. Bring water to a simmer over high heat, cover pot, and reduce heat to low. Steam pudding, without removing lid, for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until it springs back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted into center of the pudding comes out clean. Carefully lift the basin from pot and set it on a wire rack. Remove lid and let pudding cool for 10 minutes.
For the ganache:
In a small saucepan, bring cream and syrup just to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk ganache until smooth. Whisk in butter. Set aside. If ganache becomes too thick, gently re-warm over low heat for about 30 seconds, or until it is a pourable consistency.
Invert the pudding onto a cake plate. Pour about one-third of ganache over warm pudding. Slice pudding and serve with remaining ganache.