If you are going to do puddings you might as well go all out and do it properly. And these Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings with Smoked Salt is my valiant attempt at doing it properly. I certainly think I have succeeded.
I can’t take any of the credit though. I was wide awake one morning and I while scrolling through Instagram at 4am, an image of Gizzy Irskine’s Molten Caramel and Chocolate Puddings appeared on Matt Inwood’s feed. I immediately knew I had to make these puddings.
The puddings are just fantastic. Molten hot or ice cold (the refrigerated leftovers the next day was so amazing). As Izzy writes, they are messy, gooey, salty, sweet and chocolatey. The puddings are a delicious flavour play with the bitterness of the chocolate and salty depth of the caramel.
I changed the recipe slightly and reduced the sugar by almost half and I eliminated the maple syrup (purely for the reason that I did not have any syrup at the time). I always add coffee when baking with chocolate so added a teaspoon of instant espresso powder. And for the fun of it I used smoked salt when making the salted caramel. The smokiness does not come through as a distinct flavour but I would like to believe it adds depth to the caramel.
I don’t think you need to serve crème fraiche with it as in the original recipe – it is far too rich. Serve it with a bit of the left over caramel. You can put in a bit less in the ramekins and keep more for serving, that will cut the sweetness a bit for the non sweet tooth people.
And these Molten Salted Caramel and Chocolate Puddings with Smoked Salt makes an easy dinner party dessert. Make the caramel in advance, get all the other ingredients ready and then just melt, whisk, bake and eat. I have been wondering what it will taste like if I add about 3 tablespoons of peanut butter to the caramel. Could be pretty good. I will have to try it. Enjoy!
- 150g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 160g good-quality dark chocolate
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- small pinch of sea salt flakes
- 4 free-range eggs
- 120g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp double cream
- For the caramel
- 150g caster sugar
- 65g butter, diced
- 100ml double cream
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes (or smoked salt)
- Butter six medium ramekins (or a 5cm x 11cm baking dish)
- To make the caramel, melt the sugar with a splash of water in a saucepan over a medium heat until it is a light golden colour
- Whisk in the butter, then the double cream and finally the salt
- Pour the caramel about 1cm deep into the base of prepared ramekins or dish, then leave in the fridge for 20 minutes to set
- Reserve any caramel left over for serving.
- When the caramel has almost set, start making the chocolate pudding
- Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C
- Melt together the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee and salt in a heatproof bowl over a bain-marie, stirring until it is smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed
- Beat in the vanilla extract and double cream, then pour in the chocolate mixture and combine well.
- Pour the pudding mixture on top of the set caramel and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s puffed up and set on top but still has a slight wobble in the very centre.
- Remove from the oven and leave to sit for five minutes
- Serve with any left over caramel or left over double cream thinned down