CHOCOLATE has something to always delight me.Who doesn’t love CHOCOLATES ??? I am in for anything chocolaty, it helps me be happy when I am sad. Did you know Chocolates are good for memory? I believe it contains a certain chemical epicatechin which improves the blood flow in the brain.I remember as a kid, Mom always forced me to have more okra (ladies finger) and yogurt rice,she believed that it would increase my arithmetic capacity. I wish she knew more about chocolates:)
Though Chocolate is considered as a modern day sweet, but it has been around for several thousand years. An interesting read – In a way Chocolate does grow on trees,the cacao tree.I believe the cacao tree needs three things to survive:high temperature,high humidity and a special insect that pollinates its flowers.The flowers that do not produce fruit develop large pods that contain cocoa beans.The beans are removed and roasted and their papery husks removed by gently crushing the beans into little irregular pieces known as nibs.The nibs are ground,and the fat they contain – cocoa butter is then liquefied.The whole mixture is then turned into a mass called chocolate liquor, which despite its name is a solid and does not contain alcohol. The chocolate liquor is then used to make cocoa and chocolate.
Hmm well that’s the theory,coming to yet another interesting book.I should say it’s one fantastic collection by Good Housekeeping .They had come up with all their favorite recipes in one book….only CHOCOLATE recipes!!!! I found it in the library and couldn’t wait to try some totally chocolaty and yummilicious desserts.I baked this rich soufflé like dessert in individual ramekins. I have tweaked the recipe a li’l bit to suit my requirements.
Prep time – 30mins plus chilling
Bake – 25mins
Makes – 10 servings
CHOCOLATE HAZZELNUT PUDDING
¾ Cup Hazelnuts(you can substitute Blanched almonds),toasted and skinned
¾ Cup Sugar
4 tbsp butter,softened
7 large eggs separated
8 squares(8ounces) semisweet chocolate,melted and cooled
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp chocolate extract(optional)
2 tbsp condensed Milk(optional)
Toast the Hazelnuts – Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.Bake at 350 for about 6mins,stirring occasionally.To skin them,wrap the still warn hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and let stand for about ten mins.Rub off using the towel.
Melt Chocolate – Microwave chocolate until melted in the microwave,ensure to stir in between.If the chocolate doesn’t melt easily, you can add some heavy whipping cream(a tbsp at a time).
Generously, butter 8-10 ramekins.In a Food Processor,pulse hazelnuts with ¼ Cup sugar until they are finely ground. In a bowl with a mixer at medium speed, beat butter and ¼ Cup sugar until creamy.Add egg yolks one at a time.Beat in the hazelnut mixture,extract,condensed milk and chocolate until blended. Separately,beat egg whites until soft peaks form.Add the remaining ¼ Cup sugar li’l by li’l,beating until the sugar has dissolved and egg whites stand stiff.Gently fold in the egg whites to the chocolate mixture just until blended.Spoon the batter into prepared ramekins.Cover and refrigerate to four hours to overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F.Place the ramekins in large roasting pan to come halfway up sides of the ramekins.Bake until knife inserted comes out clean,about 30mins.Transfer and cool.Serve warm with Whipped cream or ice cream.Sprinkle li’l sugar or powdered sugar if you like.
Each serving : About 500 cals,37g total fat.
I couldn’t resist taking the picture of my finished bowl:)
Verdict – Why go to restaurants for such elegant desserts? Nothing can compare to a freshly prepared homemade puddings. Its yummilicious. Eating Chocolate is in itself an art and a passion. It is more important to appreciate it, whether you bite or allow it to melt in your mouth ,enjoy it slowly with enjoyment. Though this Pudding contains nuts, the chocolate over powers the taste.Tah dah…this is specially made for all the Chocolate lovers!!!!