Who doesn't like a bit of self-saucing?
As you all know, I've been dreaming of my chocolate fantasy for weeks now, but something always kept getting in the way, like my trip to Garson's PYO in Esher, or my trip to Rome, or even my trip to La Cuisiniere. Anyway, I finally made my chocolate dessert over the weekend and it really hit the spot. The textures in this self-saucing pudding are just right, from the crusty top, to the mushy layer beneath, to the gooey, oozing centre - it is chocolate perfection. I used my favourite Green & Black's organic dark chocolate and also added a shot of espresso for an extra kick.
I don't know if you remember, but I mentioned some time ago that I had a few photography projects and offers that people had been asking me to do. Well, one of them is for a restaurant that's opening soon in Soho and the owner has asked me to take pictures for his advertising campaign, website and fliers. The others were by friends and strangers asking if I'd be the photographer at their wedding, which I'm thrilled about! One wedding is quite soon, and even though I'm slightly nervous, I can't wait - I've got so many ideas I'd like to try out and you'll see the result here on the blog of course.
I was given a whole bunch of bridal magazines and I have to say I absolutely loved the floral bouquet sections. You can just imagine the looks I get sitting opposite people on the train... picture it: a 6'2" tall guy reading bridal magazines and making notes. Anyway, I've been meaning to try my hand at more professional looking bouquets, so the magazines were perfect for that. In the picture above, you'll see my first attempt: very simple, very fragrant and just perfect: white and pink freesias with a few sprigs of rosemary. What do you think? The bouquet is next to me as I type this, and the scent is just pure heaven!
Anyway, back to the chocolate puddings... recipe after the jump!
Makes 6 ramekins
2 tsps vanilla essence
130g melted butter
3tsps baking powder
6tbsps (1 bar) Green & Black's organic dark chocolate, melted (dark chocolate is optional depending on whether you like it or not, you can use milk chocolate but the results won't turn out as good! Alternatively, use 3tbsps cocoa powder)
1 shot of espresso (or 3tbsps good-quality organic freeze dried coffee)(also optional!)
For the topping:
280g soft brown sugar
3tbsps cocoa powder
300ml boiling water
200ml whipping cream
200ml vanilla custard
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C . Mix cocoa powder, baking powder, flour and sugar in a bowl and add the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and melted butter. Whisk together, add the coffee and fold under. Pour into six greased 250ml ramekins. Make sure to not overfill the ramekins and preferebly fill only half way, this leaves a lot of space for point 2 below and also for the batter to rise - otherwise you'll end up with mini-volcanoes.
2. Mix the brown sugar & cocoa powder together. Sprinkle over the batter in the ramekins. Pour some boiling water over this until the powdered mass is covered with water. The best way to do this is by turning a tablespoon upside down, holding it over the ramekin and pouring the water over the spoon.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a good crust has formed. Be careful not to over-bake as you want to keep the inside gooey. Whisk the whipping cream until thick, add the vanilla custard and whip further. Serve over the piping hot puddings. Alternatively serve with vanilla ice cream.