Molten Puddings. I don't hate this as much as I currently hate fraisier cake but...ugh.
You know. This recipe isn't complicated. But it has given me hell. I have made this...well okay not this recipe exactly...but a variant of this recipe four times now.
The first time I made the recipe, I made it as written. I changed the flavors and fillings because the recipe as written is very rich, to the point that I knew if I was going to make it multiple times I really needed to have something a little lighter.
Anyway. I have made, essentially, this recipe four times. I've gotten a little closer EVERY time, but I still haven't really mastered it. At this point I suspect I need to use a different type of baking dish to get the bake to work.
This bake was the technical bake in series 8 (Netflix Collection 5) episode 5, Puddings. The original recipe is chocolate and peanut butter and honestly it's fucking delightful. It's not an every day sort of dessert. It's a now-and-then, special occasions only sort of thing. It's rich and delightful and if you like chocolate and peanut butter I guarantee you're going to like this.
But I made this recipe FOUR times in the span of a week. It was way too rich to have four times in a week. So I decided to tweak the recipe a little bit. Overall it's still the same recipe, just using slightly different ingredients and flavors. Maybe that's why my recipe kept fucking up, but honestly I doubt it. As said previously, I think I just need different baking tins.
I will provide my altered recipe below as well as the original recipe. :)
I used Paul Hollywood's recipe on the GBBO website. My altered recipe uses all of the same proportions, but instead of dark chocolate I used white chocolate, and I added lemon zest to the sugar and eggs. Instead of peanut butter, I filled the molten puddings with a mixture of lemon and raspberry curd.
1) Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. Grease six individual pudding moulds with butter and dust the insides with cocoa powder.
2) Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
3) Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar together in a large bowl, until thick and mousse like.
4) Carefully fold the cooled melted chocolate and butter into the egg and sugar mixture. Finally sift the flour over the top and fold in, taking care not to knock the air out of the mixture.
5) Divide two thirds of the mixture equally between the six prepared moulds (it will fill them about halfway). Spoon a heaped teaspoon of peanut butter into the middle of each mould and spoon over equal amounts of the remaining chocolate mixture.
6) Place the puddings on the baking tray and bake for 8–12 minutes, until the puddings are risen but not cracked. They should still have a slight wobble. Turn out and serve immediately.
As may be obvious by my pictures, the later batches got much closer to what they needed to be. They sank a bit when they were turned out of the ramekins, though, so I don't think I've got the bake where I need it to be.
This was an adventure of a bake. Annoying, but not quite so frustrating as the fraisier cake. I think in part because unlike the fraisier cake it doesn't have as many things to put together in a single go.
This bake actually comes together fairly quickly, bakes quickly, and comes out ready to be served. I've tested it a few different ways - letting it cool in the ramekins for a minute before turning it out, turning it out immediately and serving it. I haven't had a ton of change either way, aside from the cakes sagging in the ramekins if I cool them in them.
A few things to pay attention to with this bake: you don't want to overdo the chocolate. It can get grainy and gross if you get it too hot, so make sure your bain marie is at a simmer, not a rolling boil. Chocolate melts at a relatively low temperature, and butter melts easily too - you don't need to get them super hot to get it where it needs to be. You can also melt them in the microwave. Whatever works best for you!
Whipping the eggs to a "mousse-like consistency" is really ambiguous and not well defined. I admittedly did some browsing and searching to see if I could get more clarification - but came away unsatisfied with the results. I rewatched the episode that this bake came up in but it wasn't especially helpful, either. No one seemed confused or worried about the egg consistency.
Was I overthinking this?
I mean. Probably.
But I do think that the consistency of the eggs was where I failed, at least the first couple of times. I didn't get them thick enough, so the bake collapsed. But by the fourth time I did the bake, I was definitely getting those fuckers thick, though. They were definitely a "mousse-like consistency" and if the thickness I achieved wasn't mousse-like then I'm not sure what Paul Hollywood is looking for.
That leads to the question of where else I could be going wrong. My folding game has gotten ON POINT. I use a metal spoon. I am careful to incorporate all of the sifted flour without over-mixing the batter and knocking all the air out of it.
The only other thing I can imagine is a problem - at this point at least - is my choice of bakeware. Maybe the ramekins are just not the correct material for this bake. I don't, unfortunately, have an appropriate sized metal bake dish for two molten puddings. I do have some mini-bundt pans, but they're a little big and not really the right shape.
Hell. Maybe it's oven temperature? Maybe the moon phase isn't right, or the humidity is wrong. AM I NOT ENOUGH OF A KITCHEN WITCH FOR THIS BAKE?
I swear I'm not having an existential crisis over this.
I will probably try this recipe again. It's too easy not to, and honestly even my deflated molten puddings are fucking delicious. I'll be making my lemon-y version more frequently than the chocolate & peanut butter one, but you can bet your ass I'll be making that one, too. My plan is to try it again after I've eventually purchased some dariole molds. If I still can't get the puddings to stay upright after that...I don't know. I'll accept my saggy, semi-deflated molten puddings for what they are and get on with my life.
But for now, it's time to move on to other bakes. I spent a LOT of time on this one, just trying to get it right. But after my last attempt at the molten pudding, I decided it's time to try a bread recipe. Be on the look out for my next post - featuring floury burger baps but NOT any veggie burgers.