Ohhhhh, check out that ooze shot. That’s nice. Real nice. This little number is my new twist on that old favourite, the chocolate fondant. But this is both much lazier, and a little slinkier. Instead of whisking a lot of air into the batter, through the medium of eggs, a thick almost-ganache of chocolate and butter is gently stirred together with a pinch of sugar, an egg, and the barest whisper of flour. I make this dessert on a whim more often than is really decent. It’s just so super easy, and I always have the ingredients on hand – whenever I want a chocolate hit, and the weather is chilly, this is the little pot of joy that I turn to. In all honesty, I wasn’t even going to photograph this little number when I made it, I was just making dessert, par for the course, so you’ll have to forgive the laziness of not bothering to change my checkered flag tablecloth. Though I do love the irony of using a checkered flag to display my molten chocolate puddings; these things are not going to increase your need for speed, I can tell you that. These are an entirely more languorous proposition. The more time I spend with these slowly oozing puddings, the more I myself seem to slowly ooze through my day. In fact, because of the warmth of the ginger, and the rich, dark chocolate, and the melting texture of these, they are just about perfect to wrap up a little dinner a deux. Ok, so perhaps this particular little specimen isn’t as photogenic as some other dessert choices, like this rhubarb fool, or that golden pudding, but the combination of textures and flavours that this pudding provides well and truly justifies it’s inclusion on the dinner table for two. The real secret is that the ramekins that these are cooked in are first coated in butter, and then dusted with finely crushed Gingersnap crumbs. This cookie layer bakes up beautifully crisp, which makes the finished cake taste as though it has been baked in a finely spun cookie crust. Bust through the crust, and out comes a river of chocolate lava, littered throughout with more crushed cookie rubble. Dark, deep chocolate, and crisp, spiced gingersnap cookie? Yeah. That’s dessert. I would suggest something not too heavy before these, as it’s nice to end on an indulgent note, but there is nothing so unpleasant as the feeling of decadence overload. No-one wants that on date night. So maybe a piece of seared salmon with a nicoise style garnish? Or some roast chicken and a nice sharply dressed green salad? And then play a little Al Green, perhaps, and bring out the Gingersnap-crusted Chocolate Pots, and sink into the chocolate. Just do it. Surrender. Note* these are also good to share with a girlfriend – nothing will erase the world’s woes like chocolate, amirite ladies?
Gingersnap Molten Chocolate Pots
5 gingersnap cookies
75g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids!)
50g caster sugar
15g plain flour Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the gingersnap cookies into a freezer bag, and bash them to a very fine crumb. Grease the inside of two 1 cup capacity ramekins with butter and then place half of the cookie crumbs into each. Shake the ramekins around in a circular motion, tilting to coat the sides well will cookie crumbs, before emptying out the excess crumbs back into a small bowl. In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate, and microwave in 20 second bursts until the chocolate and butter is melted. Stir to combine the chocolate and butter, before adding the sugar, egg, flour, and remaining cookie crumbs and stirring until all ingredients are well incorporated. Divide the mixture evenly between the two ramekins, and bake for 12 minutes. Because ovens differ so much, you will need to begin checking these at 10 minutes, and they might need up to 15 minutes. The top will look cooked and be matte, and the insides should be totally molten. Remove from the oven, and leave to rest for 1 minute, before turning out onto a plate, and serving with ice-cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche.