The contrast between the crispy crusty shell and the soft melting centre makes these individual chocolate puddings very special. You can prepare them well in advance and pop them in the oven just before you sit down to eat.
Makes 4 or 6
- 125g dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa solids
- 125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
- 150g castor sugar
- 2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 50g plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Butter the ramekins.
- Break the chocolate into a bowl and add the butter.
- Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and let the butter and chocolate melt. Stir to combine thoroughly and then leave to cool slightly.
- Whisk the sugar, eggs and egg yolks in another bowl until they are thick and pale and then beat in the melted chocolate.
- Whisk in the sifted flour.
- Divide the mixture between the ramekins and bake for 25 minutes with the large ramekins or just under 20 minutes for the smaller ones or until the puddings are lightly risen, slightly cracked but spongy to the touch.
- Serve warm with cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.
Add a spoonful or two of brandy or strong coffee to the batter to give the puddings an extra depth of flavor, or, for a change of texture, throw in a handful of dark, milk or white chocolate chips.
If indulgence is what you crave, serve the puds on a puddle of rich chocolate sauce. Slowly melt 110g caster sugar, 175g plain chocolate, 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp brandy or other liqueur together in a saucepan. Do not allow the mixture to boil, and beat it hard to give it a good gloss. Any leftoversauce can be frozen and served again with ice cream.