Friday, 18 January 2013
Sod the diet: Chocolate and Amaretto Pudding
With the dearth of cookery programmes one can choose from to watch, it's nice when something a bit interesting comes along, presented by chefs with charisma. I barely watch some of the stuff that gets dished up on TV these days, in terms of cookery, because, frankly, it's dull. So, whoever came up with the idea of putting two Italian chefs in a little car and sending them on a visit to sample the changing lifestyle and culinary delights of their homeland was, frankly, inspired.
So, I bought the first of the two cookery books from the series 'Two Greedy Italians' and was spoilt for choice for what to make, to be quite honest. And as I am thinking of going to Italy this summer for a little bit of a holiday (via France, as usual!!) I am very interested in getting an Italian cooking repertoire together before I go.
Now, I could have started with pasta. But when you have a dessert that involves a) chocolate and b) booze, pasta wasn't going to win at any point. Plus, as Phill's birthday was looming large, it seemed decadent, yet easy enough for his birthday meal.
This is, and was, not for Lola and Finn. It does have a nicely bitter hit of amaretto which when you're 38 and 39 is heavenly, but when you are 5 and 6, it is disgusting. The other thing I would say is this is really quite easy to make, you can make it in advance and wouldn't shame an extravagant dinner party. Or even a non extravagant one. There's something about a shot glass of chocolate and several amaretti biscuits to dunk in that is at once sophisticated and homely and just completely and utterly right.
Chocolate and Amaretto Pudding, taken from the cookbook 'Two Greedy Italians' by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo
Serves 6, (though I halved the following ingredients so that is fed Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad)
500ml/18fl oz milk
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds removed (I used a tsp of good vanilla extract)
80ml/2½fl oz Amaretto (or other almond liqueur)
100g/3½oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
50g/2oz unsalted butter
30g/1oz amaretti biscuits, crushed
Warm the milk in a saucepan over a low heat.
Mix the flour, sugar and vanilla seeds in a separate saucepan until smooth, then whisk in the warm milk, a little at a time, until smooth. Place the pan onto the heat and cook over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.
Whisk in the Amaretto liqueur and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter.
Spoon the mixture into serving glasses.
You can serve this warm, sprinkling over the crushed amaretti biscuits, or you can do what I did, which was put them in the fridge for about 2 to 3 hours to cook and solidify a little, removing them just before serving and sprinkling over the crushed amaretti biscuits.