June 26 is Chocolate Pudding Day! While you may love the custardy American version, spice things up by trying the English kind, which is a cake. In Season 1 of The Great British Baking Show, the contestants were asked to make a self-saucing pudding. Kate came up with these Chocolate and Salted Caramel Molten Puddings, which are coated with almonds and release a gooey sauce when you cut into them.
You will need four individual pudding molds (6 fl oz), a hand-held mixer, a small pallete knife, and a cook's thermometer.
To prepare the pudding molds:
1 oz sliced almonds
cake release spray
1 tbsp cocoa powder, for dusting
For the salted caramel:
1 tbsp golden syrup
2¼ oz caster sugar
3 oz double cream
¼ tsp rock salt
For the puddings:
2 oz butter, unsalted
3½ oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
1 oz plain flour, sieved
3 large free-range eggs
1 oz caster sugar
1¼ oz dark muscovado sugar
For the vanilla cream:
3½ fl oz double cream
1¾ oz icing sugar
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
1. Lightly toast the sliced almonds in a dry frying pan over a low heat. When pale golden-brown set them aside to cool.
2. Spray the pudding molds with cake release spray and then divide the sliced almonds between the molds. Using a small sieve, generously dust the inside of the molds with cocoa powder. Place in the freezer.
3. For the salted caramel, place the golden syrup, caster sugar and four tablespoons of water in a small pan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves.
4. Using a sugar thermometer, check the temperature of the caramel. When it reaches 320F, remove from the heat and stir in the cream and salt. Carefully pour the caramel into an ice cube tray. Allow to cool and then place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
5. For the puddings, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Set aside to let the chocolate melt in the hot butter, stirring occasionally. Once cool (but still liquid) add the sieved flour and stir until incorporated and smooth.
6. Break the eggs into a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (do not allow the water to touch the bowl). Whisking the eggs all the time, gradually add the sugars until the mixture is pale, light and fluffy (about seven minutes using a hand-held mixer). Remove the mixture from the heat and fold in the chocolate mixture and a pinch of salt.
7. Take the molds from the freezer and fill evenly with the mixture. Place the molds in the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes.
8. For the vanilla cream, whisk the cream until it begins to thicken, then fold in the sugar and vanilla seeds. Spoon into a piping bag and put in the fridge.
9. For the puddings, preheat the oven to 350F. Select a baking tray large enough to fit the pudding molds.
10. Working quickly, remove the molds from the fridge and place on the baking tray. Remove the salted caramel from the freezer and scoop out the contents with a teaspoon and push into the pudding mixture, ensuring the caramels are encased in the pudding mixture.
11. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides look cooked but the middle is still a little wobbly. Remove from the oven and let the puddings sit in their molds for three minutes.
12. Slide a small palette knife around the inside edges of the molds and carefully turn them out onto serving plates. Pipe some vanilla cream next to each pudding and serve.