Edmonton's always been a cold city, with snow starting in October this year. Of course little girls love snow, while their mommies think its cold, wet and miserable, but little girls win these rounds with their mommies. Mommies then bundle up as warmly as they can and head outside to build snowmen, get snowballs thrown at them, and make snow angels (which leads to really cold backsides)... and the end result is a tired, but happy little girl and a cold mommy, both who decide that a cup of hot chocolate is the best thing in the world, ever :-)
This chocolate pudding fulfills that basic need of mommies and little girls. When I heard that Julia at A Slice of Cherry Pie was hosting a Snow Day Bake Off, my ears almost fell off with excitement (or was that with the cold?) I don't normally take part in bake offs and such like, as I ocasionally still feel a bit insecure about my baking, not being someone who grew up with a baking tradition.
However, I had a recipe for chocolate pudding from BBCs Good Food magazine that I wanted to try for a long time. Julia's bake off gave me a good excuse to indulge myself and the family, with this rich moist half pudding, half cake, with dark chocolatey sauce melting through it and the tangy, juicy sweetness of Bing cherries scattered through. The original recipe is for a self saucing chocolate orange pudding, but I adapted it heavily. I did have orange chocolate and fresh oranges but a certain big, blond greedy person ate the chocolate and the oranges that I was saving for this pudding. So it got changed to chocolate cherry instead, what with chocolates, cherries and rum being very good friends indeed (wink!)
This household also has a bottle of dark rum in an emergency cupboard (which gets raided too often to be an emergency cupboard, really), so a glug of rum got added to the pudding too (most of the alcohol got boiled off, of course, I am not a completely irresponsible parent :-)). I also remeasured everything into volume (cup) measures, as I tend to use those more often than weighing out the ingredients.
The pudding came out delicious with streaks of intense chocolatey sauce running through it and the bursts of cherry juice. I made it in individual ramekins, so the sauce wasn't as plentiful as I would have liked, and I think I will make it in a baking dish next time. But other than that, it was absolutely gorgeous and decadent! Its also very chocolatey, so if you want it a bit sweeter, I suggest using milk chocolate instead of dark. It disappeared quickly, so no bets on how much this family liked it!
1/4 cup unsalted butter (roughly around 55 g)
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 tbsps cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
75 ml milk
50 g dark chocolate, chopped
1 and half cup cherries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dark rum
1/2 cup brown sugar
150 ml boiling water
1 and half tbsp cocoa
Put the cherries, 2 tbsp sugar and rum into a pan, and gently heat until the cherries release their juice, about 5 - 7 minutes. Let cool.
Sift together the flour, salt, caster sugar, baking powder and cocoa. Gently melt the butter, and in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter and milk. Stir in the cooled cherries and their juices. Fold into the flour mix, beating well with a spatula until the pudding mixture is well blended. Stir in the chopped dark chocolate.
Carefully spoon the batter into 4 buttered 7 oz ramekins.
In a bowl, whisk 150 ml boiling water with the brown sugar and 1 and half tbsp cocoa. It should measure up to 200 ml, once blended together. Now divide this into four 50 ml portions and pour over the batter in the ramekins.
Carefully place the ramekins in a baking tray, then in an oven preheated to 175 C or 350 F. The baking tray helps to catch any spills. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes without opening the oven door. The tops of the puddings should be well risen by this time.
Take out the puddings, let cool for a few minutes, and serve warm with icecream or whipped cream.