Wednesday, March 23, 2011

lovely little chocolate puddings

While I do enjoy an old school self-saucing pudding (and stodginess does have its place at times!) these rich but light little puddings are almost as fast to make, and don't sit in your tummy too heavily afterwards.

I felt sorry for the pair on Masterchef last week whose task it was to produce 100 of these soft-centred chocolate puddings. They are easy enough to whip up, but it can be a little tricky to get the cooking time just right, so that the edge sets firmly enough for them to sit on the plate without collapsing, yet still have a gooey centre that oozes out when you crack into it.

We made a half batch when I was staying at Libby's in Wellington recently. (We used 4 eggs and it made 8 puddings from memory) This recipe is from Julie Le Clerc, sourced via Pink and Powder Blue. It makes a lighter, eggier pudding than similar recipes that use ground nuts instead of flour. I reckon ours were a bit overcooked, but we erred on the side of caution with Libby's fickle oven and also her aversion to 'raw' cake...

You can also make this pudding batter and freeze it uncooked; I poured our leftover mix into a muffin tin lined with paper baking cases, then froze them to be baked another day - cook them from frozen, just allow a few extra minutes. I love them served with runny cream poured into the saucy bit in the middle, ice cream is nice too though.

little chocolate puddings - makes 12-16 depending on tin size

250g butter
250g dark chocolate (we used Whittaker's Dark Ghana as always...)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c sugar
7 eggs
pinch salt
7 tbsp flour

Melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler and allow to cool to lukewarm. Preheat oven to 160c. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt to the chocolate, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Gently fold in sifted flour, mixing only until incorporated. Pour into 12 greased muffin trays and bake for 10 minutes or until just set around the edges and top but still wobbly in the middle. Serve with cream or ice cream...they do need one or the other to cut through the chocolate.

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