Chocolate goes with a lot of things, even things that at first impressions would seem unusual like chocolate and orange, chocolate and chilli, chocolate and beetroot…
A few weeks ago I discovered something else that goes with chocolate – cardamom. I was having dinner with a friend at the Greenhouse and ordered the chocolate and cardamom pudding for dessert. It was delicious and that night I discovered how wondrous the pairing of chocolate and cardamon was.
For a dinner party that I had last week I decided to recreate this chocolate and cardamom pudding for my friends as I thought it would be really good winter dessert.
I adapted a soft-centred chocolate budini with milk ice-cream recipe that I found off the Gourmet Traveller website and added in some cardamom. I was happy with the taste of the puddings but I encountered some problems…
I baked the puddings for the full 12 minutes as specified in the recipe but I found that when I turned out the pudding, it collapsed.
I realized that if I wanted the puddings to stand on their own I would have to bake them for another 2 minutes (total baking time of 14 minutes) for the sides to form more.
The dilemma was that this would result in a reduced liquid centre.
A collapsing shell of light cake oozing with hot chocolate ganache versus a pudding that stands up on its on with more cake and less liquid.
What would you choose? - I chose more gooey chocolate!
So in the end I decided to serve the puddings in the dariole moulds on a plate with a dollop of double cream on the side. A guaranteed safe result every time without having to worry about whether or not you have baked the puddings enough for them to stand on their own. However, the problems I encountered may also be with my dariole moulds being the wrong size (a little smaller) and I may have overfilled the moulds a little because as they baked they rose like soufflés.
I served the puddings with my favourite double cream from Bannister Downs Farm. With a fat content of 53%-65%! the highest that I have ever come across, this cream is really decadent – so thick and creamy, and so pure!
(Adapted from the Gourmet Traveller)
• 165 g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 165 g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
• 3 eggs
• 3 egg yolks
• 80 g caster sugar
• 35 g plain flour, sieved
• 1 ½ t ground cardamon, sieved
• extra melted butter and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, for dusting
Preheat oven to 180C.
Prepare six 250ml dariole moulds by brushing melted butter all over the insides and then add in a spoonful of cocoa powder. Tip and turn the mould around so that the cocoa completely coats the butter and tap out any excess.
Place a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and slowly melt the chocolate and butter together, then leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
Whisk eggs, yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until pale, thick and fluffy (5-6 minutes, until the whisk leaves a trail).
Gently fold in one-quarter of the chocolate mixture, then fold in remaining mixture. Sift over the flour and cardamom, and fold to incorporate.
Divide between six prepared dariole moulds, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (6 hours-overnight).
Place the dariole moulds on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until the puddings have just set, centres are still soft and the tops have formed a crust. Serve in moulds with ice cream or double cream.
NB: If you want to serve the puddings turned out of the mould, I would recommend baking them for a further 2 minutes.