Another bake? So soon? And with so little convincing?
‘Twas a rainy, autumnal Sunday just one day ago when I felt my heart call out for soup and something chocolatey. I went to my mother’s house and informed her that I would be making a ginger, carrot, apple and butternut squash soup as well as a white chocolate pudding from my recipe book. Obviously she had no complaints, so that’s what I did.
The soup was delightful and just what the rainy day needed, and that’s when I flipped open to this particular recipe only to read:
A soft, rich sponge with a hot, slightly bitter dark chocolate sauce—truly a gloomy day emergency treat!
And I thought, Well that’s just perfect.
Some of the puddings I find tricky to bring to work since a necessity is that they’re fresh from the oven and served warm. Or, like this one, the recipe only serves four.
However, for a girl and her mother, halving the recipe is no problem at all, switching out the bit of flour for gluten-free so her mom can have some is additionally not an issue, and enjoying it of a September evening is too good a thing to pass up.
I had actually started this recipe while the soup was cooking by pre-measuring all of the ingredients.
Not just for the sponge, but also for the dark chocolate sauce to go atop the sponge.
I felt like a professional chef (a.k.a. a chef in a cooking show).
After the soup was made and consumed, I got to work. First up: melting the white chocolate. My mom actually has glass heatproof bowls so at her house I can do what the recipe tells me to do instead of precariously balancing one pot on top of another smaller pot and hoping I don’t knock it over.
According to Mary and Paul, I’m to use “the best white chocolate rather than a children’s bar for this.” They seem a little snooty about children’s chocolate bars. Where do they stand on white chocolate chips? Is that “good”? Is that “the best”? What about for someone who thinks white chocolate is the least tasty kind of chocolate? At what point does “the best” become “good enough and doesn’t require a separate trip to the grocery store”?
The other thing Mary and Paul tell me is that “white chocolate melts at a lower temperature than dark chocolate and quickly ‘seizes’ if it gets too hot.” White chocolate, you high maintenance drama queen.
And yet it feels like it takes forever.
To avoid the seizing, though, I’m to remove the chocolate when it’s three-quarters melted.
This blurry photo proves that I did just that:
A bit more mixing and this white chocolate is smooth as something that’s smooth!
Next up is, well, the rest of the sponge pudding. Now, this recipe calls for “vanilla paste” but as I said last time, the current vanilla crisis in the world is having me rethink luxurious vanilla items. Instead of looking for something like vanilla paste, then, I simply looked in my mom’s always-stocked cupboard to find this:
This stuff is legit.
Along with Mexican vanilla (a classic ingredient in a British dessert), I added the softened butter and sugar and started whisking.
I have to admit, this doesn’t look “very light and creamy.”
Once that’s mixed, I’m told to gradually whisk in the eggs a tablespoon at a time (such a hard thing to do with gloopy egg), and the last two portions of egg I’m to alternate with a tablespoon of the weighed flour.
I have a confession to make, readers. I didn’t do the flour alternate with the last two portions of egg because I misjudged the remaining amount of egg. I did it with the last three portions.
I know. The horror. Please forgive me.
Or don’t, whatever, because I ended up with this good looking thing:
Now is the time to sift in the flour and fold it with a large metal spoon. Two side notes here. First, this is actually the second time I’ve sifted the flour because I already did it once because gluten-free flour works better when it’s sifted. (Now you know.) And second, I didn’t use a metal spoon. I used a rubber spatula.
It works just the same!
Once the flour is folded in, I add the melted white chocolate and half a teaspoon of milk (another confession: I used whipping cream!)
And folded it again.
Then I prepared two pudding dishes by greasing them with butter and forgetting to read the extra “tip” in this recipe.
What is the tip you ask?
Not just greasing with butter, but then topping with baking paper and greasing with more butter and then dusting the inside of the double-greased-and-papered dish with cocoa powder.
Just one coat of butter on mine, unfortunately. Something I would later regret.
After tapping out the air bubbles, I popped them in the oven for half an hour and put my feet up.
*almost half an hour later*
I’m told to start working on the sauce while the “puds” (adorable nickname) are in the oven, so that’s what I did. With five minutes left on the timer I thought I’d get to work on the sauce.
That’s when I thought, Maybe I should check the puds and found this:
Rather done-looking puds! And the toothpicks came out clean. And the puds did not. I’d have to set that aside, though, because the sauce was needing my attention.
With those taken out of the oven, I quickly got working on melting the dark chocolate, butter and whipping cream together so I could serve it all warm.
Please appreciate this heinously lit photo!
Somehow my mother’s kitchen has worse lighting than mine.
So here’s the thing about those puds. I had to dig them out, just slightly, with a spoon, which meant they didn’t look super pretty. Also they were more top-shaped with a point on the top than they were sponge-shaped, but the glorious thing about this bake is you cover it with chocolate sauce and eat it too quickly to even notice what it looks like.
I settled in and started to enjoy this hot white chocolate sponge pudding and boy oh boy, white chocolate may have surpassed milk chocolate in my ranking. (Dark is still the best.)
How delicious does that look?
Even my mom’s dog, Marley, wanted some.
Both our plates were clean as could be (meaning both my mother and I licked our plates—I hope my younger self appreciates the irony of such a thing after being told constantly not to lick my plate) and the dog was as jealous as could be.