By chocolate pudding, I don’t mean that questionable stuff in the plastic cups with the metal lids that we can all find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. No no no, this is basically a spin off a chocolate souffle, it’s a warm chocolate cake-like dessert that’s crisp on the edges but molten and gooey in the middle. For so few ingredients, it’s pretty extraordinary. The first time I found this recipe, I was frantically looking for a relatively quick dessert to satisfy my intense chocolate craving (I know, such a woman). But when you need chocolate, there are no substitutes, and this stuff is amazing. I’ve made it many times since that night, and now I sometimes add cinnamon to give it a spiced chocolate flavor. But let me say, one thing that isn’t optional is vanilla ice cream on top. The dessert is so warm and chocolaty, it really needs something cool and sweet like vanilla ice cream to balance it all out. Let’s make it:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp sugar, divided
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place four 4oz ramekins on a baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in one of two ways:
1. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, and stir until melted.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, until melted. This way is more risky, just be careful not to microwave the mixture any longer than it needs.
Stir in 2 tbsp sugar, the 2 egg yolks, and the vanilla into the chocolate and butter.
In another bowl, whip the egg whites with a mixer until foamy. Add the other 2 tbsp of sugar and the salt, and beat to stiff peaks (this means when you lift the mixing heads straight out of the mixture and invert it, the peaks stand straight, they don’t fall over).
With a spatula, fold 1/3 of the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture, to lighten it. Add another 1/3, folding it in gently and taking care not to deflate the egg whites. Fold in the last 1/3.
Portion the mixture evenly out into the ramekins, and bake for 20 minutes. Serve them warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Warm Chocolate Puddings.