Grease and line base of a 1 litre (1¾ pint) pudding basin. Put dates in a saucepan with half orange zest. Pour in half orange juice with 100ml (3½fl oz) water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes until soft, pulpy, and liquid absorbed. Remove from heat, beat until smooth and leave to cool completely.
Whisk 110g (4oz) butter with sugar, date mixture and eggs until creamy. Stir in dried fruit then sift in flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda and fold together.
Spoon into basin and smooth top. Lay a round of baking parchment directly on top of mixture, then cover with foil with a pleat in the centre. Secure with string. Stand basin on a trivet in a large saucepan. Pour in water to come one-quarter of the way up the sides of the basin. Bring to boil, cover and steam for about 2½ hours until firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
For the sauce, break chocolate into a saucepan and add remaining butter, orange zest and juice. Heat very gently until melted. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Serve with pudding and fresh orange segments.
Head of Dairy Diary; I'm passionate about producing high quality products that our customers will cherish. I'm also a mum of three and I enjoy cooking, walking, gardening and art with my family, as well as lino printing (if I find time!)
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