If I’ve been out and about during the day, far from the kitchen and thoughts of dessert planning, I sometimes think to myself ‘Ah well, perhaps we don’t need dessert tonight. Perhaps I can just have a cup of tea and maybe a teensy piece of chocolate or twelve’. I’m almost convinced of this. Until about seven thirty pm. Then I get completely distracted, eyes glazing over, while I compile a mental list of potential dessert ingredients. Then I start grilling the beloved:
If I was making pudding, what would you want?
Don’t want pudding, am busy.
But if I was and you did, what would you want? (such a stupid question, beloved cannot understand the overwhelming need to make something different and will invariably suggest making these chocolate fondants)
Don’t want pudding. Thought you weren’t baking today? WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT BAKING? I’M WATCHING MY STORIES!!
What about something with cherries?
NO BAKING! STORIES! CHERRIES BAH!!
Gah. Can’t you just make chocolate fondants?
Hmmm. Lemon. Something quick and lemony? Lemon delicious? No. Boring. Lemon lemon lemon.
…muttering… fondant fondant fondant
Hah! Lemon fondants! Would still need chocolate. Hmmm. White chocolate?
That’s it! White chocolate and lemon fondants! (could be way too sweet, but worth a shot)
300 grams of white chocolate (at least 35% cocoa butter: ie. Green & Black’s or Whittaker’s)
75 grams of unsalted butter, at room temperature
75 grams of brown sugar
40 grams of plain flour
6 eggs of various sizes*
Zest and juice of a lemon
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced).
Butter six ramekins/small cups/small glasses.
Gently melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over just simmering water. Set aside to cool a little.
Put the butter, sugar, flour and eggs into a food processor and whizz until combined and smooth.
Add the zest and juice and whizz to incorporate.
With the processor running, add the melted chocolate in a continuous stream.
Divide the batter evenly between the six ramekins.
Bake for 8-9 minutes.
You can prepare these up to two days in advance. Just cover and chill the filled ramekins before the baking stage. I usually do this if I’m only baking for the beloved and I – bake two at first and the remaining four can be plucked out and baked as we like for snacks and whatnot. When you cook them, increase the baking time to about 12 minutes.
Turn out the puddings into bowls and top with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
Dig in…with the first spoonful, the shell of the pudding will burst and molten pudding will ooze out deliciously.
The verdict: almost there, but not quite perfect. The balance of white chocolate to lemon needs to swing more to the lemon for my liking, to balance out the white chocolatey sweetness – next time I would add the zest of two more lemons. I would also use Whittaker’s white chocolate instead of Green & Black’s – the vanilla isn’t needed here and adds unnecessarily to the sweetness. We still have four in the fridge waiting to be baked, so I’m going to cook up some lemon curd this afternoon and try one with that for some added lemony oomph. Watch this space…
In exciting news, Betty is back on the lay after two months of concentrated chick-raising. Pictured (back left) are the shells of two of her gorgeous little eggs. Darker than Lola’s creamy shelled eggs (back right) and Mrs P’s bright white delights (front), Betty’s eggs are light brown, slightly glossy and oblong, with compact golden yolks and very viscous whites.