This is a pudding that is very confused! I first came across it after watching Delia Smith’s very educational TV series How to Cook almost 10 years ago. She called them Melting Chocolate Puddings and acknowledged that she got the recipe from Galton Blackiston at Morston Hall Hotel in Norfolk, UK. Then over the years, I noticed very similar recipes but all with different names: Soft-Centred Chocolate Puddings, Chocolate Lava Puddings, Molten Chocolate Puddings, Chocolate Bleeding Puddings, Gooey Chocolate Puddings, and Chocolate Fondant Puddings. And of course during the last few weeks on MasterChef Australia, Chocolate Fondant Puddings made their appearances a few times in different guises, including the wedding episode (Episode 45 – June 17, 2009). By the way, MasterChef Australia judge Gary Mehigan also has a recipe for Chocolate Fondants from his TV series Good Chef / Bad Chef.
Most of the recipes for this pudding are almost identical, with just the slightest deviations in ingredient quantities to produce slightly different flavour and texture. The following recipe is based on the one from Delia Smith. She used 6-fl-oz (175ml) individual metal pudding basins (or dariole moulds) to cook the puddings, but I had difficulty locating metal moulds of these sizes, so I used 250ml-ramekins to bake mine. They worked well for my oven. However, since all ovens have their little quirks, the baking times do vary depending on the type and size of moulds you used, so you need to adjust accordingly, don’t just blindly follow the recommended baking times given below. It is best to do a test run to approximate the best baking time for your oven, I would suggest you start checking the puddings after about 12 minutes (10 minutes if you use smaller moulds) of baking.
Lastly just a note that this recipe is not very sweet, just nice for peoples who don’t like their desserts which are too sweet. But if you are a sweet tooth, you may want to increase the sugar to 70-80g, especially if you are going to use 70% dark chocolate for the puddings.
Makes 4 puddings
100g dark chocolate *
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons hot water
2 egg yolks
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
35g (3 tablespoons) plain flour
* I used Nestlé’s ‘Club’ dark chocolate to make this batch, but you can use any good dark chocolates to make the puddings.
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease four 250ml-ovenproof-ramekins. If you want to turn the puddings out for serving, line the base of each ramekin with a round piece of baking paper. Dissolve coffee granules in hot water and set aside.
2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and roughly chop the butter into cubes. Place the chocolate and butter in a large mixing bowl and put this bowl over a saucepan of gently steaming water, and heat until the chocolate and butter mixture melts. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the simmering water below.
3. While the chocolate mixture is melting, beat the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla with an electric beater. Beat until the mixture is pale and thick, and leaves a trail of ribbon when you lift the beater; total beating time can be 5 to 8 minutes depending on the power of your beater.
4. Pour the melted chocolate mixture and coffee into the egg mixture along the outer edge of the bowl (it is easier to fold it in from the edges). Sift in the flour and gently fold everything together.
5. Divide the batter equally into the 4 greased ramekins, they should approximately fill to just over 2/3 full in each 250ml-ramekin. The puddings can now be baked or, if you prepare them early, they can be covered with cling film and kept in the refrigerator or freezer until you need them.
The unbaked pudding that has been chilled overnight; the mixture has set after chilling.
6. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, and 1 to 2 extra minutes if they have been chilled or frozen (remember to remove the cling film first). The puddings should have risen and feel fairly firm to the touch, although the insides will still be melting. If you are turning out the puddings, leave to stand for 1 to 2 minutes before sliding a palette knife around each pudding and turning out on to individual serving plates.
Freshly baked pudding straight out of the oven.
7. Serve immdiately either in the ramekins or turned out onto serving plates, with chilled cream.
The turned-out pudding. Since I used ovenproof ramekin which was not as good a heat conductor as metal mould, the base of the pudding still had a small section in the centre which was not set but that did not affect the presentation as long as the pudding was turned out carefully.
Taste: Soft, fluffy and light pudding with a saucy centre
Consume: Best serve hot
Storage: Unbaked batter may be chilled or frozen for a few days
Recipe Reference(s): ‘Melting Chocolate Puddings’ from Delia Smith’s ‘How to Cook 2’