Gooey little chocolate puddings
The great thing about these little beauties is I’ve designed the recipe so you can use in a 12-hole muffin pan – since not everyone has fancy ramekins or moulds. This does mean they turn out quite small, so you can feel justified in devouring two or three. The cooking time is for standard sized muffin tins – if you try to use the giant muffin tins and cook them for 7 minutes, you will end up with slop – so try doubling the time. Make sure you set an exact timer because even a minute more and you won’t get that gooey centre.
Gluten-free option: Use coconut or gluten-free flour in the place of the wheat flour. You may not get quite the amount of ooze, but I’ve tested it and they still taste gooey and superb.
200g good-quality dark chocolate
200g butter (unsalted if you have it)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or paste
3 free-range eggs
2 free-range egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup flour
Heat the oven to 180c conventional bake. If your oven only has fan bake, set it to 170c.
Lightly grease a 12-pan muffin tin with butter, then add a little cocoa into each one and swish around to coat the sides. Tap out the excess. Measure a circle the size of the bottom of each hole, then cut 12 of these out of baking paper, and pop them in the bottoms. It’s a pain, but it just helps them pop out easier later on.
Melt the broken up chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl sitting over a pot of simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla to mix well. Leave to cool to warm.
Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar with an electric beater until thick and pale – a good 4-5 minutes. Fold into the chocolate mixture to combine. Lastly fold in the flour, checking for unmixed lumps.
Carefully pour (or spoon) into the muffin pans, nearly to the top but not quite – they won’t rise like cupcakes. Bake in the centre of the oven for 7 minutes. Now here’s the tricky part – everyone’s oven runs at a different temperature (some vary by 20c). What you’re looking for it for the tops to just lose their shine. There should be a very small bit of shine in the centre when they’re ready.
Remove from the oven and let sit for a couple of minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges, place a chopping board or flat tray on top, and carefully tip the whole thing over, so the puddings end up sitting on their tops on the board/tray. Don’t let them drop any distance or they will go SPLAT.
Use a fish slice/metal spatula to transfer the puddings carefully to a plate or bowl. Serve immediately with fresh fruit, whipped cream or ice cream, and a dusting of icing sugar.
If you like, you can prepare this in advance and have the batter sitting in the muffin pan until you’re ready to cook them.