Melt in the Middle Chocolate Puddings

Chocolate Melt in the Middle Pudding // Amy Elizabeth

I have a real sweet tooth, and a good meal for me is not complete without a treat at the end – preferably a chocolate-based one. It’s not my best habit, that’s for sure – but life is for living, and denying yourself pudding is definitely no way to live if you ask me. I’ll always pick up some Gu puddings when they’re on offer, and their melt-in-the-middle chocolate puddings with a drizzle of cream are some of my favourites. So when I stumbled across this recipe in Kate Doran’s Homemade Memories when looking for some dessert inspiration, I couldn’t resist making my very own version. Hers are made with amaretto, but I having experimented with a few different alcohol options, I actually prefer them without booze at all. Which is not something I usually say, believe me, but I’m such a chocoholic that I don’t want anything to detract from the chocolate taste. Basically just give me a big pile of molten chocolate and I’m happy. As always, use the best quality chocolate that you can afford, and enjoy every bite. This is the good stuff.

Chocolate Melt in the Middle Pudding // Amy Elizabeth  

Chocolate Puddle Puddings
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 180g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  2. 40g butter, softened
  3. 80g caster sugar
  4. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 30g plain flour
Instructions
  1. Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat to 200°C. Lightly grease four small ramekins with butter and place a circle of baking parchment into the bottom of each.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until fully incorporated, then add the vanilla and salt.
  4. Sift in the flour and fold to combine. Gently mix in the melted chocolate until you have a smooth, thick batter.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the ramekins. Remove the baking tray from the hot oven and place your puddings on it. Bake for 8–10 minutes until the puddings have risen slightly, and are firm to the touch.
  6. Turn out onto individual plates, removing the baking parchment and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If you want to make them boozy, increase the flour by 30g and stir in 2 tbsp. of your chosen alcohol right at the end before pouring into the ramekin.
Adapted from Homemade Memories
Adapted from Homemade Memories
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Chocolate Melt in the Middle Pudding // Amy Elizabeth

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Strawberry, Rhubarb & Pistachio Crumble

Rhubarb, Strawberry & Pistachio Crumbles // Amy Elizabeth

This is my favourite time of year. June just feels so full of promise – and when the sun is shining, there’s no other time I like better. I think a big part of it, however, is the delicious produce that’s available at this time of year. British asparagus season is a true highlight of my year, and I have no shame about that. I try to avoid my favourite summer produce at any other time – raspberries, strawberries, asparagus and all that good stuff just can’t live up to their summer promise at any other time. That moment when you catch the scent of fresh, sweet, ripe strawberries? Is one of the very best things about being alive, I’m pretty sure of it. 

Rhubarb, Strawberry & Pistachio Crumbles // Amy Elizabeth

These little puddings are the perfect way to showcase some of the very best of June – tart rhubarb, super sweet strawberries and a lovely, buttery crumble punctuated with creamy, nutty pistachios. You can make them all as one big pudding to serve a group or pop them into ramekins for individual desserts – either for a fancy dinner party situation or just to sit in front of the telly on a summer evening (especially when the weather doesn’t quite match up to how summery this tastes…). 

Rhubarb, Strawberry & Pistachio Crumbles // Amy Elizabeth

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Pistachio Crumble
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For the fruit filling
  1. 250g strawberries, quartered
  2. 250g rhubarb, in 1cm chunks
  3. 85g caster sugar
For the crumble topping
  1. 200g plain flour
  2. 100g unsalted butter, in 1cm cubes
  3. 100g soft brown sugar
  4. 85g pistachios, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place the strawberries, rhubarb and caster sugar into a pan over a low heat and gently simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if required. Turn off the heat and leave to one side.
  3. Place the flour, butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and rub together with the tips of your fingers until soft and crumbly. Mix through the pistachio pieces.
  4. Spoon the fruit into individual ramekins or a baking dish. Top with the crumble and bake for 25-30 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the fruit filling is piping hot.
  5. Serve with ice cream or a drizzle of double cream.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

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Boozy Affogato with Candied Hazelnuts

Boozy Affogato with Candied Hazelnuts // Amy Elizabeth

Christmas is a time for indulgence, but also for relaxation. This pudding really combines the best of both, taking just minutes to prepare, but being made up of all the very best things – booze, ice cream, coffee and sugar. If you’re looking for a low maintenance dessert to serve to guests over the Christmas period, this is a great option. The combination of the hot, boozy coffee and the cold ice cream is quite delightful, but it’s taken to another level with the crunchy, sweet hazelnuts. You can prepare the hazelnuts a day or two before and, once cool, store in a sealed container until you’re ready to serve up, which will save you some time if you’re eager to get back to the table for some cracking anecdotes and cheesy cracker jokes. As with so many of the best desserts, this one is infinitely customisable – swap the Irish Cream for your favourite liqueur, or mix up the ice cream flavours (salted caramel would be to die for, no doubt) or even try some candied almonds or pecans. Kids can be served a decaf, non-boozy version, or just given some ice cream and chocolate sauce. This pudding really is the gift that keeps on giving. 

Boozy Affogato with Candied Hazelnuts // Amy Elizabeth

Boozy Affogato with Candied Hazelnuts
Serves 4
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For the Candied Hazelnuts
  1. 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  2. 20g caster sugar
For the Affogato
  1. 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
  2. 4 shots espresso
  3. 4 shots Irish Cream
Instructions
  1. For the Candied Hazelnuts
  2. Heat the hazelnut pieces in a heavy non-stick pan over a medium heat for a minute until warmed through.
  3. Stir in the sugar and turn down the heat slightly to prevent burning.
  4. Continue to stir and cook until the sugar melts and coats the hazelnuts.
  5. Remove from the heat and spread the hazelnut pieces onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Leave to cool.
  6. Store in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
For the Affogato
  1. Place your serving glasses into the freezer well ahead of time. They need to be very cold to stop the ice cream melting as soon as the coffee is poured on top.
  2. Mix together your espresso and Irish Cream in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat until warmed through, but not boiling.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the glasses from the freezer and serve a scoop of vanilla ice cream into each glass. Pour over a quarter of the coffee mixture into each glass.
  4. Divide the hazelnuts and scatter over the top of the dessert. Serve immediately!
Notes
  1. You can use any kind of glass to serve the Affogato - I used martini glasses, but you can use wine glasses, tumblers or glass mugs. You could also use bowls, in a pinch.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Boozy Affogato with Candied Hazelnuts // Amy Elizabeth

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pot // Amy Elizabeth

Thanks to various chick lit books and magazine articles, dinner parties always seemed like the bastion on adulthood to my teenage self. I was determined to become a perfect dinner party host; it seemed like the ideal social activity – wine, food and good friends, and all in the comfort of your own home (although there is the small issue of the washing up).

In many ways, adulthood is not how I imagined it, but my one true disappointment is the lack of dinner parties that I was promised. My minuscule dining table just doesn’t lend itself to sophisticated gatherings, and sadly the invites to other’s houses are also few and far between. Dinner is often offered, but a dinner party is scarce to materialise. Which may explain why a large dining room is top of my house-hunting wish list for when the time comes… 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pot // Amy Elizabeth

That being said, this is a perfect dinner party dessert if you are lucky enough to be involved in such things. It also makes a decadent weeknight dessert if you’re a food blogger who happens to have made a batch of them. They take mere minutes to whip up (you could even cheat and use ready-made caramel sauce if you’re in a rush) and will store nicely in the fridge ready to serve to your guests. Whilst I hesitate to be the first to mention Christmas dinner, these would also be a lovely Christmas Day dessert – make them on Christmas Eve and then gorge yourself silly with very little stress. I know salted caramel is horrible in fashion right now, but there’s a very good reason for it – and there will be few who can resist these gooey, creamy desserts when placed in front of them… 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pot // Amy Elizabeth

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots
Serves 4
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For the caramel
  1. 65g granulated sugar
  2. 3 tbsp. water
  3. 10g unsalted butter
  4. 3 tbsp. double cream
  5. 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 tsp. flaked sea salt
For the chocolate
  1. 25g unsalted butter
  2. 200g milk chocolate
  3. 200ml double cream
  4. Flaked sea salt
For the caramel
  1. In a saucepan over a medium-high heat, mix together 65g sugar and 3 tbsp. water until the sugar has dissolved. Set the spoon to one side and continue to boil until the mixture is a golden-brown colour; resist the urge to stir and swirl the mixture in the pan instead when necessary.
  2. As soon as you have the desired colour, remove from the heat and add the butter. Swirl the saucepan to incorporate and then stir in the cream.
  3. Add the salt and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour a quarter of the mixture into each ramekin so the bottom is covered and set aside to cool.
For the chocolate
  1. In a bowl over a simmering pan of water, melt together the butter and chocolate.
  2. Once melted, stir in the cream and mix together until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a jug.
  3. Pour over the caramel in the ramekins until full.
  4. Pop in the fridge for half an hour to cool, and then sprinkle over the sea salt. Return to the fridge for another couple of hours until fully set.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

 

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Rosemary & Lemon Treacle Tart

Rosemary & Lemon Treacle Tart // Amy Elizabeth

Rosemary & Lemon Treacle Tart // Amy Elizabeth

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Let’s just say that pastry is not one of my strengths… I have never been particularly confident with pastry – it feels tricky, fiddly and time-consuming. So, for the most part, I have always stuck to shop-bought and, for the most part, it has sufficed. 

However, when I got the idea for this treacle tart in my head, I knew that ready-made, ready-rolled pastry wasn’t going to cut it. They say that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, well, so do decent baked goods. So I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in – kneading, rolling, blind baking, the whole shebang. 

And… it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was pretty darn good for a pastry novice like myself. The pastry was flaky and flecked with the savoury taste of rosemary; although it was a little uneven in places, I avoided the dreaded soggy bottom. I like to think the crinkled edges give it a rustic effect.

There’s a lesson in all of this about not being afraid of failure, pastry-wise. The worst that can happen is it can end up in the bin. The best that can happen is that you get a delicious treacle tart, with an unusual but very welcome hit of rosemary and lemon. Sticky, sweet and best served warm with a big, fat dollop of cream. 

Rosemary & Lemon Treacle Tart // Amy Elizabeth

Rosemary & Lemon Treacle Tart
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For the pastry
  1. 225g plain flour
  2. 110g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1-2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
For the filling
  1. 450g golden syrup
  2. 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  3. Zest of 1 lemon
  4. Juice of 1/2 lemon
To serve
  1. Thick double cream, clotted cream or ice cream (you choose!)
Instructions
  1. 1. In a bowl, rub together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. 2. Mix in the egg using a knife. Throw in the rosemary.
  3. 3. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and bring the dough together. Knead for a few minutes to form a smooth dough.
  4. 4. Roll the dough to your required thickness (around 5mm) and use to line a pie dish. Don't worry if there's some overhang around the edge - we'll trim that off later! Prick the base all over with a fork.
  5. 5. Leave the pastry to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. 6. Preheat the oven to 190C
  7. 7. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans (not baked beans!) or rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes before removing the beans/rice and returning to the oven for around 5 minutes more until the pastry is golden brown.
  8. 8. Trim any excess pastry from the rim of the dish.
  9. 9. Mix together the golden syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice and breadcrumbs. Tip into the pastry case.
  10. 10. Pop back in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes.
  11. 11. Serve warm with your chosen accompaniment.
Adapted from James Martin
Adapted from James Martin
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

 

 

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