Saturday, 24 March 2012

Pure Indulgence

I have been wanting to try this elegant chocolate treasure for quite a while now.  Every time I open Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess, I can't help but read this recipe and take pleasure in the eloquent way in which she gives directions for its creation.  Well time is of the essence and all of that, so today was the day! And it was wonderful.  How fantastic is the feeling when you complete a recipe and it looks identical to the illustration you have been lusting over?!  Food is all about the senses...first and foremost, the visual.  When the visual is matched by the taste, aromas and texture, you have achieved the holy grail of cooking - hallejulah!
This rich dessert provides a beautiful balance of sweetness and chocolately bitterness. Truly, a gorgeous dinner party people pleaser, this dessert can be prepared well ahead of time and be cooked straight out of the fridge.  I would highly recommend completing a practice run to ensure the perfect cooking time in your oven.  A solid outer, with that insanely indulgent molten centre is difficult to achieve first go but so incredibly satisfying when you do.  Serve them with sweet vanilla icecream and tart raspberries.  A sweet raspberry sauce would also compliment the dessert wonderfully.  These cakes are a labour of love - share them with your favourite sweeties.

Nigella's Molten Chocolate Babycakes

50g soft unsalted butter
350g dark chocolate
150g caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour

Preheat an oven to 200 degrees C, putting your baking tray in at the same time.  Prepare your pudding moulds by greasing with (extra) butter and lining the base with baking paper circles.

Melt the chocolate (I used the microwave for ease) and put it aside to cool slightly. I must admit that I only used 250g of chocolate as that was all I had in the fridge and the Babycakes were still incredibly rich. 

Cream the butter and sugar before gradually beating in the eggs.  Once these are well combined, mix through the vanilla extract.  Sift and mix in the flour until the mixture is smooth.  Scoop in the cooled chocolate and blend to a smooth, glossy batter.

Divide the batter between six moulds.  Place them on the heated baking tray and put back into the oven.  Nigella dictates 10-12 minutes for cooking, in my oven with dariol moulds, my puddings took almost 20 minutes.  Keep checking them.  The Babycakes will rise like souffles.  You will be able to see the ring of cooked batter quite clearly.

As soon as you take them out of the oven, tip these luscious little babies onto your serving plate. Be gentle, banging and shaking has no place here. Icecream suits perfectly as an accompaniment but so would a creme anglaise or whipped double cream.

F. x

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