Natasha Oakley - British Romance Author

Writer of tug-at-the-heartstrings, feel-good romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Jessica Hart's 50th Book and Chocolate Day

Not only am I mid-Sheikh, but I'm a busy blogger today. I'm helping celebrate at Jessica Hart's.

I'm also blogging over at the Pink Heart Society blog today. It's Temptation Tuesday and it's pretty much all about the need for chocolate when suffering deadline stress.

I've dubbed today Chocolate Day and anyone with a recipe and a blog will hopefully combine the too. Any recipes emailed to me from non-bloggers will be posted here.

So - this is from Sharon in Shrewbury and it looks amazing. Thank you! Feeling less stressed already.

Melting Chocolate Puddings

Serves 8

7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
7 oz (200 g) butter, diced
2 tablespoons brandy
4 oz (110 g) golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ oz (60 g) plain flour

To serve:
a little pouring or whipped cream

8 mini pudding basins, each with a capacity of 6 fl oz (175 ml), generously brushed with melted butter.

First of all place the broken-up chocolate, along with the butter and brandy, 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. 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.

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 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 mark 6, 400°F (200°C). 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.

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two and The Delia Collection: Chocolate.

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  • At 5:10 pm, Anonymous Mary said…


    I missed out on your Chocolate Day, but in my little world, every day is Chocolate Day. I recently posted my favorite chocolate recipe on my blog. Have a look, and maybe give it a try.



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