This is my favourite dessert recipe in the whole wide world. And just to forewarn you, this pudding is so good that whoever you serve it to will fall madly and deeply in love with you, so just watch who you give it to...
I’ve had this recipe written since January and just haven’t got around to posting it, but the time has come to unleash this dessert and change the world by pairing it with some awesome beers.
The chocolate pudding is feather-light on the outside, hot, rich and gooey in the middle and it’s enough to melt even an iron heart. Pair this with the right beer and it turns all magical and supernatural. But what beer? Some would go straight for the cherry beer, and this is wise, no doubt, but there are better beers to pour with this. Personally, I’m thinking a big coffee stout. Here’s why: coffee stouts and chocolate are killer combos. It’s all about the lustful coming together of sweet chocolate and roasty-bitter coffee beer: it just works. But you need a big coffee beer, something full-bodied, imperial, rich and strong enough to leave you wired. It’s a real pick-me-up pairing, like a do-it-yourself tiramisu (I have to make tiramisu with coffee stout in the base one day…) where the chocolate soothes and the coffee kicks.
The pudding recipe has never failed me and it’s incredible. The pudding coats the tongue in the way that only good chocolate can and then the beer glides in and lifts it all away, making you want more and more and more… But there are careful steps needed to get that oh-so-important gooey centre. First, I add grated chocolate to the mix. Second, I add a little contingency square of chocolate in the centre. Third, make the mix a few hours before you need it (this is helpful anyway) and then chill it. Fourth, bake it for exactly 10 minutes at 220C – no more, no less.
Gooey Chocolate Puddings
This makes 6 puddings.
- 200g dark chocolate (or part and part with milk chocolate)
- 150g butter, plus some for lining the dishes
- Pinch sea salt
- 3 whole eggs and 3 yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- 20g plain flour
- Cocoa powder for dusting
Line the ramekins with butter and sprinkle cocoa into each so it all sticks to the butter. Melt 150g of the chocolate with the butter (in a glass bowl over a pan of bubbling water) and add a pinch of sea salt. While that’s melting whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar until they are pale and creamy. When the chocolate is done take it off the heat for a minute, in that minute grate a few chunks of chocolate (leaving six squares behind) into the egg/sugar mix then add the melted chocolate and butter and stir through gently. Next add the flour and stir into a pudding mix. Pour into the ramekins and pop a square of chocolate into the middle of each one. Chill until you need it.
To cook the puddings the oven must be preheated to 220C – exactly 220C. Add the ramekins and watch the clock very closely. As soon as ten minutes are up take them out, run a knife around the edge and turn them out onto a plate.
I like this served with ice cream. The first time I tried it I had it with a coffee ice cream and that was super but I personally think a more subtle ice cream would be best, and something like the RipTide Stout Ice Cream would be spot on. Another excellent choice would be a banana ice cream (coffee, chocolate and banana is a truly great combo). Or just go for a good vanilla ice cream.
As for the beer, I’d jump straight to Mikkeller and grab the Beer Geek Breakfast, or even better, the Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (I wrote about that here). I’ve had the puddings with BrewDog’s Coffee Imperial Stout, as the picture shows, and that was fantastic. You could try the Meantime Coffee but I think it might struggle to deal with the awesomeness of the dessert. If you can’t do a coffee beer then go for a straight up imperial stout - Thornbridge’s Bracia would kick serious pudding-fattened ass, Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout or a sublime De Struise Black Albert. The dessert deserves good beer, the dessert demands good beer. But remember the cautionary words at the beginning: whoever you serve this to will fall wildly in love with you.