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These luxurious puddings served fresh from the oven must ooooze with chocolate when served, with a deliciously crusty top
125g/40oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
125g/4oz unsalted butter, cubed (plus a bit extra for greasing)
150g/5oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
50g/2oz plain flour, sifted
Equipment – 4x200ml or 6x150ml ramekins, greased with the extra butter
Preheat the oven to 190° Electric/170°Fan/375°/Gas Mark 5
Break down the chocolate into a small bowl and place over a pan of nearly simmering water. It’s important the bowl does not touch the water, and that the water does not boil.
Add the cubed butter and let the ingredients slowly melt together, stirring to combine.
When melted and fully mixed, remove the bowl from the water and set aside for 10 minutes or so to cool slightly.
In a larger bowl, add the eggs, egg yolks and sugar and whisk thoroughly until the mixture is thick and pale. See the before and after here:
Adjust the setting on your hand mixer to beat and add the melted chocolate.
Adjust once again to whisk and add in the sifted flour till fully combined.
Place your greased ramekins on a baking tray and divide the mixture evenly between them.
Place in the oven for……no longer than 20 minutes if you are serving 6 puddings and 25 minutes if you are serving 4 puddings.
My oven is very quick and therefore I had a lot of trial and error on the baking times on this.
When baking you are always looking for lightly risen puddings and cracked tops which are spongy to the touch.
However, the most important thing is to perfect the melt in the middle chocolate, and this you will never know until you cut into them! So, for my oven, 16 minutes was sufficient for 6 puddings.
These are quick and easy to make the batter up, so it may be worth having a trial run with these first and testing your puddings at minute intervals when baking until they are perfect.
Also, you can make the batter in advance, which makes them a perfect dinner party pudding, as they are baked and served warm, with either cream, crème fraiche, ice cream or just a dusting of icing sugar.
The basic cupcake recipe is an easy sponge mixture of butter, sugar, eggs and flour using the best ingredients you can afford.
Buttercream Icing ingredients
To make the cupcakes
To make the icing
Icing the cupcakes
I use plastic piping bags and do not snip the end of the bag until all the icing mixture is in and pushed down to the bottom, with the top of the bag twisted. This stops any icing coming out before you are absolutely ready and the bag doesn’t have any air pockets in the mixture.
Decorate your cupcakes in a circular motion, starting from the outside of the cake to the middle and finish the last pipe with a flourish for decoration. Apply any decorative raspberries now before the icing sets, and these can cover any small mistakes you make with the piping.