Ingredients (serves 4 – 6)
For the sponge
175g unsalted butter, softened
8 oranges (genuine Sicilian oranges)
175g golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
125g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
For the orange sauce
75g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped
Start with the sponge. Butter a 1.2 lt heatproof bowl. Carefully cut skin from the oranges and cut into thick slices. Pat dry, then lay the orange slices into the buttered bowl, one in the centre then five around it, repeating all the way up the side of the bowl.
Place butter, sugar, eggs, flower, cocoa, backing powder and salt into a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Spoon carefully into the orange-lined bowl.
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on to a sheet of foil, pleat both layers in the centre to create on overlap, then tie around the bowl with string. Take a long piece of foil and fold lengthways in half to make a handle.
Place a cloth in the base of a large saucepan, then put an upside-down saucer or small plate on it. Fill halfway up with water. Place the foil-covered bowl on to the long folded over piece of foil, then into the saucepan (this acts as a handle later to lift the pudding bowl out the saucepan). Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
For the sauce, heat a sauté pan until hot, add the caster sugar and vanilla seeds and heat, without stirring, until it turns to a light golden caramel, shaking the pan from time to time. Add the orange liqueur and, standing well back, set alight. When the flames die down, add the orange juice and cook for two or three minutes until it comes together into a thin sauce. Add the butter and swirl to combine and thicken.
Use the foil strip to lift the pudding bowl out of the saucepan, then discard the foil and baking parchment. Place a plate on top and turn over, tipping the pudding on the plate. Pour the sauce over the top, offer some crème fraîche on the side, then dig in!