Life is really hectic and chaotic at the moment - I was convinced I had no time at all to enter baking challenges this month. There are so many I would like to have a go at, Teatime Treats, Alphabakes, We Should Cocoa, and Random Recipes – but I am just too busy.
Then fate intervened.
One day it suited my chaotic life to make something in the slow cooker so I plucked (randomly) one of my slow cooker cookbooks from the shelf, leafing through for ideas instead of looking at the index, but the first page to plop open was for chocolate and cherry puddings.
They looked yummy and I have never tried making anything other than casseroles in my slow cooker but it was not what I needed that day and I made a mental note of the idea for later. Then, when my dad came round for his dinner on Sunday evening as usual, I remembered the recipe.
I thought it would be ideal, quick to make, I could put it in the slow cooker and forget about it while Nick and I get on with cooking the rest of the meal (roast beef and plain veg). Not only that but I also had all the ingredients in stock – now there’s a first !!
My pudding moulds were smaller than specified but the four of them only just fitted into the slow cooker. I used Stork baking liquid instead of butter and it worked really well. I just put everything in a bowl and beat until it was all smooth – just about two minutes, if that.
They were lovely. The recipe also includes instructions for a sauce made with double cream and white chocolate, which I’m sure would have been lovely too, but I confess I served mine with some warmed ready-made custard, for speed. (To be honest, it’s because we really like custard.)
And I was able to enter not one, but two baking challenges after all !! The chocolate and cherry combination fits in with this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, hosted by Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen, being the guest host this month for Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog.
And, with only an ever so slight bending of the rules, it also suits Dom’s Random Recipe Challenge this month, which is “starting at the very beginning”. I didn’t exactly pick the book randomly from all of my cookbooks but it was the first one of the slow cooker ones that I grabbed………….
I shall definitely be doing these little puddings again. The portion size is just right for one person and there’s no temptation to nibble away at very calorific leftovers – there were only four, one each and one for my dad to take away for later in the week. Later in the year I might adapt the recipe to make treacle puddings, or apple……..the possibilities could be endless I think. Another winning recipe for the busy cook.
Here’s what you need for my version of chocolate and cherry puddings.
50g self raising flour
50g caster sugar
50g Stork baking liquid (or butter, softened)
1 tblsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 425g tin pitted black cherries
Draw round the bottom of a small (6floz) metal pudding mould on greaseproof or baking paper to make 4 circles. (This seemed like a lot of faffing to me but it is worth it.)
Grease 4 pudding moulds and put a circle of paper in the bottom of each one. Drain the tin of cherries and put 6 or 7 cherries on top of the paper.
Measure all the other ingredients into a medium bowl and beat together until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the moulds and cover the tops loosely with foil.
Put them in the slow cooker and pour in boiling water to about half way up the moulds. Put the lid on and cook on high for 1½-2 hours. (Mine were done in 1½ hours.)
Lift the puddings out, loosen round the edges of each one with a knife then tip out onto a plate.
Serve with custard, ice-cream, cream or chocolate sauce.
Makes 4 puddings.