Waiting for Agnes

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Molten August 25, 2010

The beloved has been baking. She does this very occasionally. On a lazy Friday perhaps, or if she’s on holiday. It always makes me nervous, mainly for ludicrous reasons…what if she loses my best tiny spatula, or uses a bad, unvetted recipe, or breaks all the wooden spoons (which could actually happen – she has engineered some unfortunate blender vs. wooden spoon incidents. Oh god, what about the blender?) or blows up the oven? I know I’m not the only one afflicted with ERK (Extreme and Ridiculous Kitchen-possessiveness). You’re out there. You know who you are. We should form a support group.

Fortunately she usually makes the same thing, a pudding which could make anyone overcome just about any affliction, except diabetes. Pure heaven in a ramekin.

Once upon a time I worked in an office. Those of you familiar with working in an office will understand this phenomenon: if a colleague on maternity leave visits with their baby everybody stops work until the baby has exited the building. Apply this to our chickens*. Enough said.

Beloved Pudding

adapted from Annie Bell’s gorgeous desserts

300 grams of dark eating chocolate, broken into pieces

75 grams of unsalted butter, chopped

75 grams of brown sugar

5 eggs (*see above)

40 grams of plain flour, sifted

1 tablespoon of Amaretto (or the liqueur of your choice)

Ice cream, cream or creme fraiche to serve

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees celsius (170 fan forced).

Butter six ramekins (roughly half-cup size).

Melt your chocolate gently. Either do this in a bowl over a pan of just simmering water, or in the microwave on 60% power. Set aside.

Put your butter, sugar, eggs and flour in the bowl of your food processor. Process until smooth. Add the chocolate and process again. Add your generous tablespoonful of delicious Amaretto and give it all one last spin.

Divide equally between the ramekins.

Sit the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 8-9 minutes, until just rising. There should be a layer of cooked cake on the outer and molten chocolate on the inside.

Serve immediately. If you want to make these ahead, you can get to the ‘divide into ramekins’ bit and then cover each ramekin and put them in the fridge. When you bake them from the fridge add about 3 minutes cooking time.

This is an exceptionally versatile pudding: make it to impress when you have people for dinner (individual puddings are so elegant), make it to heal an ailing beloved of your own who is lolling on the couch moaning about their headache, or make it in thanks for lovely gestures (say, for the person who builds your son a sandpit for his birthday)