Because NO ONE likes Christmas pudding.
Today, I am sharing an old family recipe* for chocolate truffle torte. This is a fine little pudding to make for any occasion – it is at heart just chocolate and cream, so everyone likes it. My Mum always made this in a big springform cake tin, which looks impressive and grand. When I was a student I wanted to make it for my friend Ruth’s birthday and we didn’t have a springform cake tin (or any kitchen equipment at all – just one frying pan and a butter knife stolen from the Student’s Union) so I got a few vintagey teacups from the charity shop and just served them like that. I always do them in teacups now – it gives a cute, teaparty type feel, and you don’t have to mess about doing portions.
This is an incredibly easy recipe – anyone can do it. To demonstrate this principle, I made these at midnight on Thursday after spending a fair few hours at the pub. My thanks to Paul for excellent** guest photography.
*Old Delia Smith recipe
For 4 generous portions you will need –
- 200g nice dark chocolate
- 200ml double cream
- A good splash of booze
- 4 biscuits of your choice (plus an extra 4 for garnish if you like)
Please note that this recipe requires OVERNIGHT CHILLING so bear this in mind with your timescales.
First, break up your chocolate and melt it with your dash of booze. The original recipe called for rum, and I suppose Baileys would be very nice. You could use any. I am using an obscure Spanish liqueur called “43” because it reminds me of the day we got engaged.
(In the evening, we went to my favourite restaurant in Amsterdam and ordered ribs and prosecco. Our waitress pursed her lips at us, and said that this is not a common combination of wine and food. We explained that we were celebrating, and she let us have them. After dinner, she insisted that we had to have pudding because it was a special day. No! We said. We are so full of delicious ribs. So she brought us two shots of this liqueur as a compromise. It is vanillery and spicey and delicious.)
As I’m sure you know, the way to melt chocolate is in a bowl set atop a saucepan of simmering water. I actually overheated and curdled mine, but this is a forgiving recipe and it turned out not to matter.
As soon as your chocolate is melted, take it off the heat and let it
As your chocolate is melting, get your biscuits and bash them up with a rolling pin (or crumble them with your hands). You can use whatever biscuits you like here – the original uses Amaretti, which is a very very good option. I used ginger biscuits because it seemed more ~christmassey~. I also think something like shortbread would be fine, or maybe gingernuts. Don’t use custard creams, because they are disgusting and also that would be a bit weird.
Divide the biscuit crumbs between four teacups and cover the bottom of them in an even layer. Ramekins will do if you don’t have teacups, or even little tumblers.
Now whisk your cream, using a kitchenaid, a hand whisk or a whisk and a hand. According to the internet, it is easier if your cream is very cold, but I’m not sure how helpful this advice is. I mean, it’s been in the fridge…I can’t make it colder than that. I don’t know. Whisk it until it puffs up and holds its shape nicely.
Next you want to combine the two mixtures together – this is the only slightly tricky bit. Take a couple of big scoops of cream and stir them into the chocolate mixture. Then pour the chocolate-and-a-bit-of-cream mixture and then FOLD the two together. Don’t over mix or you’ll knock the air out of your cream. If there are still some creamy streaks in the mixture, it doesn’t matter.
Now divide the mixture evenly between the teacups. In a perfect world you would use a piping bag, but we all know this is not a perfect world. Just spoon it in as neatly as you can and try to level it off without covering yourself and the cup in stray chocolate mixture.
Pop your teacups in the fridge to chill, have a big glass of water and go to bed.
The next day, arrange your teacup on its saucer, with a teaspoon on the side. You could sift some cocoa or icing sugar on the top, and maybe put a little star shaped version of the biscuit you used on the base.