Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hot pudding for a cold night

As the days have turned colder and darker, I've started dreaming of puddings: hot steamed puddings, studded with dried fruit, flavoured with chocolate or ginger or topped with hot jam, treacle or golden syrup, and served smothered in custard or chocolate sauce or dolloped with thick cream.

I have two classic recipes from my grandmother, one for golden syrup dumplings and one for a self-saucing chocolate pudding, both of which have been eaten on many a winter's night in my family. The chocolate pudding is always a hit, whether it is dressed up with whipped cream for a dinner party or served with a scoop of ice-cream after a casual Sunday night meal of soup. It tastes good hot or cold and reheats well.

Despite my love of chocolate, I've had golden syrup steamed pudding on my mind recently. But when Adam called at 6pm to say he was on his way home from work and would pick up some cream to have with dessert (hint hint...), there was no time to make a steamed pudding, which requires at least an hour-and-a-half steaming time, or even my grandmother's chocolate self-saucing pudding, which needs 45 minutes in the oven. There wasn't even time to consult my recipe books and drool over potential options.

Fortunately I've recently reorganised my large collection of food magazines into seasons, rather than by calendar month, so I went to the winter section and pulled out a copy of Delicious magazine that had hot brownie puddings on the front cover. Amazingly, there was a block of dark chocolate in the pantry that Adam hadn't found and devoured, and the puddings took only 25 minutes to cook. It was a winner!

Delicious magazine food writer Valli Little served these puddings with chocolate leaves and a sauce made from white chocolate and cream. Although I think they add a lovely touch, especially for the photos, I didn't have the ingredients or the time to make these and served the puddings with just a dollop of whipped cream, which worked well. The combination of melted chocolate and cocoa gives these puddings a rich, fudgy flavour that is even better when reheated the next night.


120g dark chocolate
125g butter
4 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon liqueur (such as frangelico or amaretto, although brandy also works well)
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Place the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted, then take off heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs until creamy, then beat in the sugar until the mixture is thick. Beat in the chocolate mixture and the liqueur. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together and fold into the mixture.

Grease four large ramekins and divide the mixture between the ramekins. Bake for about 25 minutes (be careful not to overlook, as there should be a slight squidginess in the centre). Run a knife around the edge and tip out into a bowl. Serve with cream, ice-cream or thick chocolate sauce.

Adapted from a recipe by Valli Little in Delicious magazine, August 2005


Truffle said...

Oh this sounds just wonderful! Perfect winter dessert.

Melinda said...

Hi Truffle - puddings, especially chocolate, are always welcome on a cold winter's night!