Category Archives: Pudding

Chocolate Cobbler

Chocolate Cobbler mix

If you are anything like me, two thoughts will immediately occur to you when you first hear the phrase ‘chocolate cobbler’ – a) What’s a chocolate cobbler? and b) just how quickly can I get my hands on a chocolate cobbler? You may also find yourself repeating the phrase chocolate cobbler so many times that it begins to lose all meaning. That’s understandable, particularly when you discover that it is an oozing molten morass of chocolate goo with the consistency of a muddy bog and the taste of the best chocolate pudding you’ll ever find yourself guiltily eating the leftovers of for breakfast (not that I would know.)

Strictly speaking, this isn’t really a cobbler, as a cobbler traditionally tends to contain fruit or a pastry crust.  It’s more a self saucing pudding (a terminology which I always imagine being uttered by someone like Fanny Craddock in faux genteel tones) which means you crack through a layer of baked demerara sugar and butterscotch to reveal a steaming ocean of hot whisky-scented chocolate sauce. Why whisky you ask? Well, because when I was making this I discovered that I’d run of vanilla essence, so decided to put a shot of the hard stuff in there instead. And because I believe that most things work better when you stick a shot of spirits inside them. I imagine it would also work quite well with Tia Maria or Kahlua if your tastes run more towards the coffee side of things.

This is not a genteel pudding, or indeed a pudding which can be photographed beautifully and artistically (all of my attempts to take a picture of it in a bowl ended up making it look like a dirty protest.) However, it’s incredibly simple to make, infinitely adaptable (I used butterscotch chips here, but I imagine it would also work very well with sour cherries or bourbon soaked apricots) and – best of all – fantastic to eat. Happy cobblin’.

Chocolate cobbler

CHOCOLATE COBBLER (Serves 3)

Adapted from The Kitchn

You will need:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 75g white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsps cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 shot of freshly brewed espresso (or 1 tsp espresso powder)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 100ml full fat milk
  • 100g melted unsalted butter
  • 1 shot of whisky (Black Grouse or Jameson’s would work well here – if you prefer to keep it teetotal, substitute for 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 75g demerara sugar
  • 150g butterscotch chips
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Make it!

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Lightly grease a medium-sized baking dish.
  2. Combine the flour, white sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. In another bowl whisk together the milk, espresso, melted butter, and whisky. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine (the batter will be thick.) Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the demerara sugar and remaining tablespoon and a half of cocoa powder. Sprinkle the sugar-cocoa mixture evenly over the batter, followed by the butterscotch chips. Pour some boiling water over the top of the mixture until it is fully covered, but do not stir.
  4. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and cook for 40 minutes, until the center is jiggly and just barely set. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.
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Butterscotch ‘Angel Delight’

So, picture the scene. It’s a Sunday afternoon, you’re knee deep in freelance work, and you would gladly sell your fiancée in return for a dessert-based-treat. However, you are hindered by the fact that a) there’s no chocolate in the house, b) you only have 10p in your bank account and c) it’s about to piss it down outside. There is only one thing for it. Baby, you’re going to have to improvise. It’s time to make some pudding.

I learnt how to make pudding from scratch earlier this year, and when I did, I realised how man must have felt when he first discovered fire. The fact that you could take some cornflour, milk, eggs and flavourings, and turn them into something spectacular left me gobsmacked. This was magic – cooking alchemy at its finest. Why the hell had no one told me about these before?

The reason for this appears to be, simply, that cornflour puddings are more of an American thing than anything else. After all – when you mention the word ‘pudding’ to an English person, they’ll tend to think of steaming bowls of suet-heavy, currant laden sponge puddings. A cornstarch pudding is more mousse like in texture, sleek, rich and deliciously slippery. No wonder that the first time I ate one, I realised that I had, effectively, made grown up Angel Delight.

As a kid, I adored Angel Delight. I was always fascinated by the fact that you could make something so delicious out of an incongruous beige powder. Its appeal was only heightened by the fact that my family only ever ate it on special occasions – namely when my Dad couldn’t be bothered going to the shops and we had a spare packet of it at the back of our cupboards. Being a sweet toothed seven year old however, the chocolate flavour was always my favourite, and I have fond memories of eating huge bowls of the stuff whilst watching reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard on TV. I’m not sure I could even face eating the stuff nowadays. Much as I adore nostalgia, bowls of chemically sweet gloop just aren’t my bag. Not when I have access to the real thing.

This is a pudding which is ridiculous in every sense of the word. Decadent, rich, and insanely creamy, it is a glorious harmony of vanilla, butter, brown sugar and a shot of whisky for good measure. It’s the kind of dessert you could imagine a 1950s starlet eating in a bubble bath. Or alternatively, you could just eat it in your kitchen, listening to the midnight news on Radio 4 whilst watching a huge thunderstorm ‘water’ your herb garden, as I did last night. Whatever’s best for you. Just one tip though – make sure to eat the gloriously chewy pudding skin which will form on top of this after it’s set. Trust me on this one. You can thank me for it later.

BUTTERSCOTCH ‘ANGEL DELIGHT’ (Makes four portions)

Inspired by David Lebovitz

You will need:

  • 60g butter, salted or unsalted
  • 180g muscovado sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 625ml cups milk (I used semi skimmed here. If you like your pudding rich, use the full fat stuff)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 shot of whisky
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make It!
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the muscovado sugar and salt, then stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornflour with 60ml of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible balls of cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.
  3. Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornflour mixture.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of a thick sauce. Be careful here, as it will start to ‘burp’ slightly, and could splatter across your hobs (and hands) at a moment’s notice.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the whisky and vanilla.
  6. Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill for at least four hours, before serving.
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