My partner Elvin is a chocolate dessert nut. I offered to make dinner for his birthday this weekend (partly to give me a reason to make a rabbit ragu I’d been planning) and of course his order for dessert was ‘something very, very chocolately, cakey, gooey and warm’. After an extensive search through virtually all my cook books that have desserts, and on the internet, I settled on chocolate fondant puddings. And these were not for the faint hearted. There was a 100g block of 70% Lindt dark chocolate per person. You read that right – Per. Person.
It was lucky we’d just stocked up on Lindt on super special at Coles (still going so rush on down). As you can see there is a bit of chocoholic action going on in this household.
There are many recipes around for this kind of dessert (also called chocolate lava puddings and molten chocolate puddings to name a couple). I was originally considering a self-saucing pudding but there just wasn’t enough actual chocolate in any of the recipes I found to really satisfy the richness I was searching for. The chocolate fondant pudding recipe I followed with this insane amount of chocolate was in No Time to Cook by Donna Hay.
The other ingredients are butter, eggs, sugar and flour and the process is incredibly simple so I can understand why it’s in a book focussed on quick cooking. Melt the chocolate (which I did in the microwave) then whizz everything in the food processor, just 15 mins in the oven and no fiddling with water baths either. Some similar recipes call for the butter to be melted first but, true to reducing the time necessary, this recipe instructs you to just chop it up and bung it into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients – the addition of warm melted chocolate doesn’t completely melt the butter but it obviously melts when it’s cooking, so that’s fine.
I think the recipe needs adjusting for the stomachs of mere mortals to about 1/2 the amount per person – although I was glad it called for 1 cup ramekins as that’s all I have (I should invest in a 1/2 cup set but my eyes always say that’s just not going to be enough). Three out of five of us couldn’t finish it even though we took breaks and kept coming back to it, periodically, over about an hour and a half. However the birthday boy was in seventh heaven. Not only did he finish his but he polished off the remains from the other three!
This pudding is a great dinner party ‘wow’ dish – individual puddings always look impressive and when each person cuts into the pudding it really does ooze dark hot chocolate onto the plate to mix with the cream. It’s luscious, warm, thick and rich and so, so chocolatey.
If I’d thought ahead I would have served this with (thawed, frozen) raspberries as it really could do with something sharp and fresh to accompany it. As it was we were handing the thick cream around to ‘cut through the richness’ (much hilarity about that). We had the ambulance emergency number on speed dial just in case.
Chocolate Fondant Puddings (from No Time to Cook by Donna Hay, reprinted with permission)
This recipe makes 2 puddings. I made five puddings so I mentally halved the ingredients then multiplied everything by 5.
200g dark chocolate, melted
60g butter, chopped
2 Tbl plain flour
1/3 cup (or 60g) brown sugar
cream or ice-cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 180C. Place chocolate, butter, eggs, flour and sugar into food processor and process until smooth.
Spoon into 2 x 1-cup capacity greased ramekins. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until puddings are cooked on the outside and just set in the middle. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto platters and serve with cream or ice-cream.
I also lined the bottom of the ramekins with baking paper.
My oven is fan forced so I set the temperature to 160C and only cooked them for 15 mins. I would err on the side of caution in the amount of time you bake these for – the runnier the better in my opinion.