Molten chocolate pudding with salted caramel sauce recipe

Liam Charles
This indulgent dessert is a stunning final flourish to any meal  - Photography by Haarala Hamilton

Delicately spiced and rich, this super-indulgent pudding ticks all the boxes if you find yourself in need of a sugar fix. You will need eight 200ml pudding moulds. 

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time | Cooking time: 35 minutes

MAKES 

eight 

INGREDIENTS 

For the spiced-caramel bath

  • 230g caster sugar
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 130ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla-bean paste
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

For the peanut-buttered popcorn

  • 5 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla-bean paste
  • 60g shop-bought popcorn

For the puddings

  • 200g unsalted butter, plus extra, melted, for greasing
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 300g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 4 large eggs, plus 4 yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 35g plain flour
  • 100g smooth peanut butter
  • Ice cream, to serve

METHOD 

  1. To make the caramel bath, put 65ml water in a saucepan, then slowly add the caster sugar, a little at a time, whisking constantly until it has all been added.
  2. Place over a medium heat and let it simmer – but do not stir it at this point – for 10-15 minutes until the sugar has turned a deep amber colour. Remove from the heat and add the butter, then warm the pan again, stirring now, until the butter has completely melted.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the double cream, vanilla, spices and 1 tsp fine sea salt. Mix, return to the heat and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  4. For the popcorn, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4 and line a large baking tray with paper.
  5. Put the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and ½ tsp fine sea salt in a large jug and stir until smooth. Place the popcorn in a large bowl, pour over the peanut mixture, and stir until everything is well coated. Spread the popcorn evenly over the lined tray and bake for 10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and place in another large bowl to cool. Leave the oven on.
  6. Brush the eight pudding moulds with a thick coating of melted butter then dust well with cocoa powder. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water), or in the microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring occasionally. Remove and leave to cool slightly.
  7. Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl with a handheld electric whisk (or use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) until fluffy, doubled in size and extremely pale in colour. It should leave a ribbon trail on the surface when you lift the whisk.
  8. Gradually whisk in the melted chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar. Finally, sift over the flour and gently fold it in using a large metal spoon.
  9. Spoon about 2cm of the batter into each pudding mould as evenly as you can, dot a teaspoon of peanut butter in the centre, then cover with the rest of the sponge mixture. Place the pudding moulds on a tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the sides and tops appear solid.
  10. While the puddings are baking, carefully place a generous amount of salted caramel on each plate, making it look like a mini bath. Get your ice cream and popcorn at the ready. Remove the puddings from the oven and carefully turn out each one directly into the middle of a caramel bath. Finish with scoop of ice cream and the popcorn.

Recipe from Second Helpings by Liam Charles (Hodder & Stoughton, £22). Order your copy from books.telegraph.co.uk