My cousin Doris (hi Doris) mentioned she is soon to be part-taking in a Come Dine With Me competition with a group of her friends. I've seen afew episodes on TV and find that whilst most competitors make an effort to cook up elaborate starter and main courses, their desserts often seem to be a bit of a let down. One example of exotic fruit kebabs springs to mind.
I'll invariably choose a chocolate dessert when i'm eating out, as i think it makes a good end to a meal. But when it comes to making chocolate desserts myself, i have to admit i lack the experience. Time to get some practice in.
Having tried this Nigella Lawson recipe, i think that these Chocolate Melting Puddings would make a good option in a competitive situation. They are quick to make, requiring minimal preparation and attention. Additionally, the melting chocolate in the centre means that these are self saucing puddings, bonus.
These are rich, deeply chocolatey and best eaten warm. Serve each pudding alongside some raspberries and creme fraiche, both of which cut into the intensity of the molten chocolatey goo in the middle. Ice cream or whipped double cream might be nice too.
Good luck Doris, i'm sure you'll do great. Do let us know how the competition goes!
Recipe - Melting Chocolate Puddings from Nigella Lawsons 'How to be a domestic goddess'
50g soft unsalted butter and extra for greasing
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350g best dark chocolate
50g plain or italian 00 flour
150g caster sugar 4 large eggs, beaten with a punch of salt
6 individual pudding moulds, buttered baking parchment
Serve 6 people.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C/gas mark 6 and place a baking sheet in the oven. Fold a sheet of baking parchment in half and lay 3 of the moulds onto the parchment. Draw around them, remove moulds and cut out the disks. Butter the disks and place them into the base of the moulds.
Melt the chocolate. I did this in a pan on a very low heat, sometimes taking the pan off the heat when i thought the chocolate was melting too fast. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave. As it is easy to burn the chocolate microwave in 10 second increments, checking each time, until completely melted. Let the chocolate cool slightly.
Cream together the butter and sugar, then gradually beat in the eggs with salt and vanilla extract. Add the flour and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and continue to beat until it is a smooth batter.
Divide the mixture into the 6 moulds, up to about 3/4 of the way up the moulds. Quickly take the baking sheet out of the oven and place the puddings on it and replace in the oven.
Cook for 10-12 minutes (the extra 2 minutes are required only if the puddings have been in the fridge when you start). As soon as the puddings come out of the oven, turn them out on to a plate to serve. The moulds will be very hot so use a tea towel to handle them.
Note - you can prepare the mixture afew hours in advance and put it in the prepared pudding moulds which go in the fridge ready for the oven when you are near ready to serve them.