|7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces|
|7 oz (200 g) butter, diced|
|2 tablespoons brandy (I used Triple Sec)|
|4 oz (110 g) golden caster sugar (I used ordinary caster sugar)|
|4 large eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks|
|1½ teaspoons vanilla extract|
| 2½ oz (60 g) plain flour|
A pinch of salt
First of all place the broken-up chocolate, along with the butter and Triple Sec, in a large heatproof bowl, which should be sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Then, keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate and butter to melt slowly; it should take 6-7 minutes. Then remove it from the heat and give it a good stir until it's smooth and glossy.
While the chocolate is melting, place the sugar, whole eggs, yolks and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl, place it on a tea towel to steady it, then whisk on a high speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture has doubled in volume – this will take between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on the power of your whisk. (I used a Kenwood and left it to whisk for about five minutes or so). What you need to end up with is a thick, mousse-like mixture that, when you stop the motor and lift the whisk, leaves a trail like a piece of ribbon.
Not a great pic, it has to be said!
Now you need to pour the melted chocolate mixture around the edge of the bowl (it's easier to fold it in from the edges) and then sift the flour and salt over the mixture. Using a large metal spoon, carefully but thoroughly fold everything together. Patience is needed here; don't be tempted to hurry it, as careful folding and cutting movements are needed, and this will take 3-4 minutes.
Now divide the mixture between the pudding basins (it should come to just below the top of each one) and line them up on a baking tray. If you like, the puddings can now be covered with clingfilm and kept in the fridge or freezer until you need them.When you're ready to bake the puddings, pre heat the oven to Gas 6, 400F (200C).
Remove the clingfilm and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 14 minutes if they have been chilled first, but only 12 if not; after that time the puddings should have risen and feel fairly firm to the touch, although the insides will still be melting.
Leave to stand for 1 minute before sliding a palette knife around each pudding and turning out on to individual serving plates. If you're cooking these puddings from frozen, give them about 15 minutes' cooking time and allow them to stand for 2 minutes before turning out.
Serve absolutely immediately, with some chilled cream to pour over. As the puddings cool, the melted chocolate inside continues to set, so they can, if you like, be served cold instead as a fudgey-centred chocolate cake with whipped cream.
Saturday, 16 March 2013
If I were on Masterchef, I'd cook these - Melting Chocolate Puddings
If you watch Masterchef, you will know that should anyone mention the phrase 'Chocolate Fondants' it results in several things - one: a look of horror followed by that look of 'Are you really THAT stupid?' from Messrs Torode and Wallace, two: a grimace and an apologetic smile/look of sheer bravado from the contestant, and three: about two minutes worth of footage of the contestant peering through the oven door watching anxiously for the point at which they think the fondants are ready. The stakes are high. You either get something that will pleasingly ooze when a spoon parts the chocolate sponge that results in a carnival like response, or else you'll get something you can break a window with and everyone ruefully shakes their heads at the contestant's stupidity for even thinking it was a good idea in the first place. A risky business.
So my advice to any Masterchef contestant would be to cook Delia's melting chocolate puddings, for being Delia, they behave. I faffed around in the kitchen cooking the main meal whilst preparing these, chocolate, butter and booze mingling nicely over boiling water, eggs and sugar turning to something pale and ribbon like in the Kenwood whilst I was chopping leeks. Then a therapeutic few minutes carefully combining chocolate, eggs and sieved flour with a metal spoon before pouring the glossy but still airy chocolate mixture into dariole moulds. A quick tap to settle the contents and I left them on the side for nearly an hour before firing them into a preheated oven for 12 MINUTES. Result? They came out onto the plate with a tap, and a spoon into its chocolate heart revealed gooeyness galore. Yum, frankly.
I served these with cream. Messrs Torode and Wallace. You would have loved them!
As March is the month of Delia on the 'Cook Like a Star' bloghop, hosted by Zoe at Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake, I am submitting this post to the list. See the end of this blog post for more superb Delia recipes!
So, the recipe:
Melting Chocolate Puddings, adapted from Delia Smith's 'How to Cook, Book Two'.
My adaptations in red.
Note: I halved the ingredients below to produce a quantity that would feed Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad