Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gooey chocolate brownie puds

It makes me blush now when I remember my attitude towards baked puddings as a child. S
ee, I wasn’t a normal child in any sense of the word. ‘Normal’ children don’t pour over cooking tomes or wish for measuring cups and spoons for their birthday; nor do they create intricate 5 component desserts for 16 family members at Christmas dinner or attempt spun sugar (the aftermath of which involved chiseling molten caramel off my mother’s kitchen tiles). Since the days of ‘Granny Muffin’s Kitchen’ all I wanted to be was a chef – and a pastry one at that – so perhaps with this in mind you’ll forgive the younger me for my snooty disdain for ‘boring old family baked puddings’.  After all, my imagination (and ‘cheffy’ cookbooks) extended much further than a quick-mix sponge drowned in thick UltraMel custard. Today though, I find myself humbly dedicating an entire story to the very indulgence I overlooked and underestimated as a child and this is perhaps the reason puddings are universally soothing and rich in nostalgia. The rich clouds of aroma that waft from the oven instantly take me back to Sunday afternoon lunches where the fragrance held the sweet promise of pudding and of the food that tastes like childhood. I adore the deceptive plainness of puddings – no fancy frills or fuss yet supremely indulgent and satisfying and this recipe has spoonfuls of all of the above and a bonus is that it's made in a microwave - perfect for those days where waiting anything longer than 10 minutes for a sweet fix is pure agony!

Gooey chocolate brownie puds
(makes 8)

175g butter 

250g quality dark chocolate, chopped 

175g light brown sugar 

200g self-raising flour 

1T cocoa powder 

2 eggs, beaten 

100g pecan nuts, toasted and roughly chopped 

Grease 8 microwavable tea cups. Melt the butter, 150g chocolate, the sugar and 200ml water in a microwave bowl on high for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through. Fold in the flour, cocoa, eggs, nuts and remaining chocolate. Spoon into the teacups, cover with cling film and pierce. Microwave 4 at a time for 5 minutes on medium. Stand for 2-3 minutes. Serve warm, dusted with cocoa powder and topped with whipped cream.