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Saturday, 22 January 2011

Blue Monday

Monday was not a good day. It was a stellar cocktail of pouring rain, less than waterproof shoes, missed driving tests, subsequent tears and rage at the instructor who overslept, tense meetings at work and a general feeling that both Christmas and Spring are about a million miles away.


But then I read that Monday was pretty terrible for the whole country. Almost like it was supposed to be a terrible day. Apparently, everyone woke up with a sort of grey, soggy feeling. It was, according to the BBC, the most depressing day of the year.

So, by rights, the rest of the year has to get better. And in celebration of this fact, on Monday night I made chocolate fondants.

Now, they weren't perfect. While they were melting in the centre, and they tasted really good, the centres were a bit gummy and gloopy rather than properly liquid and silky. I think this is because I halved the recipe, having decided that 2 each in one evening was probably a little too decadent. This meant the batter was pretty thick before they even went into the moulds.

This seems like a feasible explanation for them falling slightly short. However, I am going to heap all the blame on Monday. So ner.

Chocolate Melty Pick Me Up Puddings
Adapted from Eric Lanlard's Home Bake

(Serves 2)

This is the recipe halved, as I did it, which will give you a delicious and moist sponge, with a thick and gooey centre. Test them out this way, as a pud for two, and let's see if it really was the power of Blue Monday messing them up, or whether it's simply a case of kitchen chemistry.


65g unsalted butter plus extra butter for greasing
1 tbsp cocoa powder
65g dark chocolate, bashed up into bits
30g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
50g plain flour


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
2. Grease two ovenproof moulds of about 200ml thoroughly, then take a teaspoon of the cocoa powder and sprinkle it into the moulds. Shake the moulds from side to side until there is a light dusting of cocoa across the base of both of them.
3. Heat a small amount of water in a small saucepan, and place a heatproof bowl over the pan. The bottom of the bowl shouldn't be touching the water. Melt the chocolate and the butter together in the bowl, stirring all the time.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolk and egg. The mixture needs to be frothy and pale, so use an electric whisk if you can, otherwise you'll have a painful arm!
5. Pour the melted mixture onto the whisked eggs and sugar, then sift in the flour and remaining cocoa powder over the top and fold it in with a metal spoon.
6. Spoon the mixture into the buttered moulds and place them on a baking tray.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. By this point the outside of the puddings should be slightly crisp and firm to the touch, and should have started to pull away from the edge of the mould.
8. Gently loosen the edges of each mould with a sharp knife, and turn the puddings upside down onto a plate. The middles should be melting when you dig a spoon into them.
9. Serve with ice cream or a big dollop of creme fraiche.

1 comment:

  1. The French do have the saying "Comme un lundi" for good reason. Nothing some chocolate can't fix though. Yum!