Chocolate & Spice

chocolate, spice and the other pleasures in life

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A's Baking Adventures - A Touch of Chocolate

A's been expressing an intention to get his hands dirty in the kitchen for the last couple of years. I rarely take him at his word, except to help me out occasionally with slicing onions, garlic and general prep work. Other than the sole occasion that he cooked his special pasta for me (in our first few months of dating), he hasn't tried his hand at anything else since.

However, after tasting the Sultana Syrup Cake I made a couple of weeks ago and learning that the recipe was really simple, A decided he wanted to have a go at the same over the weekend. I'd also been meaning to do my first post on chocolate for some time and had earmarked a couple of recipes to try. Seeing that A would be doing this for the first time, I decided to leave Damien Pignolet's "Eve's Chocolate Cake" for another occasion and try a simple Molten Chocolate Pudding instead. It would also allow me to finally use the new pot pie dishes I bought from Robert Gordon a couple of weeks back.

We decide the Molten Chocolate Puddings would make a lovely late night dessert and accordingly, we drive over for dinner at a Vietnamese eatery on Victoria Street, Richmond, which we had heard about from A's colleague. We'd been to Bridge Road in Richmond for the outlet shopping a couple of times, as well as for lunch at Richmond Hill Café & Larder and for ramen at Momotaro's but had never headed north to the parallel Victoria Street. Victoria Street is locally known as "Little Vietnam" with Asian grocery stores, butchers and Vietnamese eateries in abundance.

Quan at 88 Victoria Street looked like any of the other restaurants offering Vietnamese/Laotian/Thai cuisine dotting the street. We had been treated the night before to enthusiastic raves about the rice paper rolls, spicy quail and salty squid and duly ordered the same dishes, together with the waiter's recommendation of Beef fried "Thai-style" with chilli and basil. The recommended dish was not only NOT Vietnamese, it catered to the Western palates that frequented the joint. What was finger-licking good however, was the spicy quail, which came in a serving of 2 wing portions dipped in a dark spicy and piquant sauce. The other dishes were tasty enough, but definitely not beating any of the concoctions offered at many of Singapore's zi-char (literally "stir-fry") places. Nevertheless, Quan offered a cheap and cheerful dinner and BYO is available (at an incredible A$0.80 corkage charge a person). We would definitely head back to Victoria Street another weekend to check out all the other offerings.

A hard at work whisking the egg yolks with caster sugar

Back to the important bit of this post – A's virgin baking experience. I start him off with the easy bits – greasing the pot pie dishes and melting the chocolate in the bain marie. I show him how to separate the egg yolks from the whites and he decides to try his hand at the last egg. I'm a firm believer in everyone trying their hand once at anything, so I hand over the egg without a bleat. Unfortunately, most of the yolk ends up on the counter and part of it with the other whites as he laments his "strong fingers"! (The eggs aren't wasted though, with the addition of another egg, they form the base of a carbonara sauce for dinner on Sunday night.)


The recipe for Molten Chocolate Puddings is easy enough and in no time, we've got the pudding ready for the oven. After 15 minutes in the oven, and a generous pouring of thickened cream over, we sat down to enjoy our dessert while watching Bette Middler on "Beaches".


The Molten Chocolate Puddings turn out really well, with spongy sides and the proper molten centre. The recipe provided enough mix for 4 puddings and I put the remaining 2 puddings in the fridge. These are still yummy a couple of days later after heating the microwave (although this meant that the molten centre becomes fully cooked) as the chocolate flavour has become more pronounced. Served with a scoop of caramel icecream, this is an easy dessert to replicate at any of your dinner parties.

The next day after a huge yum cha lunch in Kew with A's colleagues, A attempted the Sultana Syrup Cake and was amazed to find the recipe easy to do (although I had to help him out with certain bits). He's thrilled to bits that he can now bake and I'm pleased that I now have an assistant in the kitchen when I attempt the more complex cakes.

Here's the recipe for Molten Chocolate Puddings, with many thanks again to Donna Hay:

150g dark chocolate - either cooking or eating chocolate is fine
100g unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 extra egg yolks
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour, sifted
Thickened cream to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180'C and lightly grease 4 1-cup capacity ovenproof dishes.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a bain marie over low heat (or a heatproof bowl set over simmering water that does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
3. Place the eggs, extra yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale.
4. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour and chocolate mixture and spoon into the greased dishes.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the puddings are puffed. Top with the cream to serve. Sliced strawberries or kiwifruit on the side, optional.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Hello,

Thank you for sharing the recipe for the very sinfully yummy looking molten chocolate puddings.

Needless to say, I am going to try it after my bangkok trip. I am also contemplating making a lemon meringue pie as mom has been nagging me for it.

Take care. I hope you're having fun in the Big apple.

your cousin,
one of the 3 Ms in our generation :)

Mon Sep 25, 07:02:00 pm GMT+10  

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