Monday, 5 February 2018

Chocolate "pond" pudding reinvented with baby rocha pear

my take on "Sussex pond pudding"
Oh Sussex, Sussex by the Sea!
Good old Sussex by the Sea! 
So the refrain goes of the South East England county's unofficial anthem. It was written in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs.The recipes for Pond Pudding date back to the 1700s but the addition of a lemon was a modern interpretation of  the recipe.The earliest citing of the recipe used a whole apple not a lemon. I am always interested in how recipes get tweaked and changed to suit different tastes,and in this case cross European borders.It certainly left me feeling like this particular pud could do with a 2018 makeover to suit Casa Rosada´s more modern slant on traditional food. 
Reading up on ‘pond’ recipes got me thinking about how the rich flavours could be given a new twist that is perhaps slightly less heart-stoppingly high in cholesterol.Sussex pond pudding traditionally contained a whole fruit with no spice.
Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, a sure-fire stand-by in times of stress, a reliable source of consolation when life has let us down, and a mood-enhancer and romance-inducer in more positive circumstances ( Valentines Day is just around the corner). Scoffing lots of it is not going to do you any favours.But there are a host of medically proven ways in which chocolate — good chocolate, which is to say dark chocolate, with a cocoa percentage of around seventy per cent or more — really is good for us.
This is my take on Sussex pond pudding. I decided to take the suet out of Sussex and put chocolate back in Casa Rosada.What I created was a rich chocolate pudding, which makes its own sauce when cooked and rises like a chocolate sponge island in a syrupy chocolate sea. Your mothers, like mine, probably made chocolate puddle pudding.Everybody’s mother seems to have had a similar recipe – and what sensible mothers they were, because this  rich and delicious, malevolently chocolatey modicum of temptation is so quick and easy to make.
At first glance, this Sussex pond pud looks like a winter warmer, but what flows out from inside will make you want to tuck in well into spring.The freshness that having a whole baby Portuguese Rocha pear baked inside brings stops it feeling like a purely depths-of-winter pudding, and I hope will render it servable well into the warmer months.
The ‘pond’ is made when you cut into the piping hot pudding releasing an irresistible stream of chocolate sauce from within the sweet sponge casing.
The sensation is like a fabulous fondant, light and spongy on the outside and liquid gooey gold inside.
Chocolate pond pudding with baby Rocha Pear
makes 6 individual puddings
125g butter melted
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
180g flour
75g cocoa powder
tsp baking powder
70ml milk
6 baby rocha pears peeled and cored but stalks left intact
Pre-heat  oven to 170C
If the pears are not ripe poach them in some wine sugar water and vanilla.
Beat the butter and the sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth.Add the eggs, one at a time beating them well.Sift the flour,cocoa and baking powder over the mixture and beat well with a wooden spoon.Add the milk stirring until smooth.Divide the mixture equally between six previously buttered ramekins.Push the pears down into the middle of the chocolate and bake for 30 minutes.Cool slightly before serving.They will be molten hot when you take them out of the oven so be careful.

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