In a few days it will be Eid. Yes.
Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Adha, feast of the sacrifice, on the tenth day of the lunar month of Dhu’l-Hijjah, marking the culmination of the holy pilgrimage to Mecca. It’s a holiday everyone comes to appreciate in the GCC States, just like the seasonality of the Christmas in the west.
During Eid, it is customary to finish off the meals with a sweet treat, and share sweet dishes with friends and relatives.
Festivals call for special treat, don't you think? Now if you are looking for a last minute indulgence, I have something very special. It's tasty, it's chocolaty too. An emergency homemade treat for giving, or sharing at your dining table—a wicked treat to celebrate Eid.
It’s like a molten cake or pudding. You know, the kind that's sexy hot with a wonderful mocha flavor, super moist texture, and gooey center. Wicked too, I must add. Mmmm. Care to indulge, anyone?
I’m a milk chocolate person, I admit. I hardly enjoy anything that’s dark chocolaty. Except, molten chocolate cake, also known as chocolate fondant. This’s usually the first item I order whenever we dine out at Chili’s or TGI Friday’s. I know, I know—it’s dessert, typically ordered at the end of a meal. But, I never care. I really enjoy digging into the fudge filled sizzling cake served with a dollop of cold vanilla ice cream topped with crunchy chocolate shell. Decadent!
Now, when I was thumbing through glossy recipe books at one of our weekend mall visits and came across this soft-centered pudding recipe, I instantly knew the book had to be mine. There was no other way (oh yeah, food blogging is an expensive obsession!). I wanted to try my hand at making this favorite treat at home. Especially since my family loves it as much as I do—particularly my elder boy.
Well, that was a while back. After the initial thrill of buying, the book was stacked away on the shelf together with tons other cook books. Until the husband returned home recently after a two week business trip with plenty of chocolate treats. He had picked a box of Lindt Dark Thins quite accidently. That was it—I couldn't wait any longer to try out the tempting recipe from the book.
For such an elegant dessert, you’ll be surprised at how easily you can pull this together. Moreover, it cooks in just about 12 minutes! So, if you have a passion for fine velvety dark chocolate, then this molten cake or pudding is just for you.
Wait, there’s more.
A little chocolate is, in fact, good for a healthy heart. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids that help protect the body from damage by free radicals. You know, cocoa powder packs more disease fighting antioxidant than green tea or red wine. And, a high anti-oxidant diet helps fight brain aging.
The key to this fabulous dessert is chocolate. Use good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids. The puddings are best served warm—if you reheat the tops tends to collapse inward. My kids and I loved it freshly baked out of the oven, topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a scatter of fresh raspberries. Aha! Now, I didn’t have enough ice cream for the pictures, so I topped it with whipping cream instead.
Whether you dress them with softly whipped cream, a dollop of ice cream, or sever them on their own, these puds are utterly delicious.
Soft Centered Mocha Pudding
(Recipe Source: The Australian Women’s Weekly Delicious Desserts)
155g (5 ounce) dark (semi-sweet) eating chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Lindt Swiss Thins Dark Chocolate)
125g (4 ounces) butter, coarsely chopped, plus extra softened butter for greasing
3 teaspoons instant coffee granules (I used Nestle)
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
¼ cup (35g) plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
2 teaspoons cocoa powder, for garnish
fresh raspberries, to serve
whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 200oC/400oF. Generously grease six-hole mini silicone bundit pan with softened butter; place on a large baking sheet. Alternatively, you can use a muffin pan, or individual heat resistant pudding moulds, or ramekins.
Sift flour, twice. Set aside.
Melt butter, coffee and chocolate in a small saucepan, very slowly, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile whisk together eggs, yolks and sugar with electric mixer on very high speed until thick and creamy—the mixture will triple in volume thickening to a mouse-like, creamy texture.
Gently fold egg mixture and sifted flour into barely warm chocolate mixture until just combined without deflating the batter.
Divide mixture among pan holes up to ¾ full, leaving a bit of space at the top for the sponges to rise. Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake about 10-12 minutes until puddings rise. Remember to tailor cooking time to your oven behavior.
Remove from oven and rest about 5 minutes. Gently and carefully turn puddings onto serving plates, top-side down. Unmolding can be a little tricky as the pudding is wobbly, with the top most vulnerable.
Finishing with a dust of cocoa powder and serve immediately.
Dress it up with whipped cream and fresh raspberries, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce, if you like.
And now, for a bit of other news. My Pearlspot Fish Grilled in Banana Leaf made the Foodbuzz Top 9 today (November 1, 2011).
Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and support. I am sorry I don’t have more time these days to chat and write. Things are getting a little overwhelming for me due to some health challenges. Hopefully I should feel better once I kick off the treatments. I promise to visit your spaces soon to see what you have been up to. Among other things, I miss the connections. Terribly.
Before I sign off, Eid Mubarak to my dear reader and friends celebrating this holiday. May this season be filled with blessings, happiness, love and lots of delicious food.