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- Butter and base line a 1 litre pudding basin. Cut out a rectangle of baking parchment and foil and fold a crease in the centre of each. Set to one side. Bring about 10cm of water to the boil in a saucepan large enough to comfortably hold your pudding basin.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together with a wooden spoon until pale and creamy. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat in the creme fraiche, orange zest and essence of orange.
- Add the egg mixture to the creamed mixture and beat in. Continue to add and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Don’t worry if it looks a little curdled at this stage.
- Sift over the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated. Add a little milk if the mixture seems a little to stiff.
- Spoon into the prepared basin, level off the top and then cover with the baking paper and the foil. Secure in place with string and trim off any excess paper and foil. Pop into the pan, ensuring that the water comes up two thirds up the side. Cover, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours.
Don’t be tempted to take the lid off the pan for the first 30 minutes of cooking as this will cause the pudding to sink. After an hour check the level of the water in the pan and top up with boiling water if needed.