Liquid-Centered Chocolate Puddings (Molten Cakes) with Homemade Lavender and Chili Ice Cream served with a Sweet Fig Salad

Spicy, floral and sweet, this imaginative dessert adapted from executive chef Janine Hobbs at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, is worth the extra effort.

Wine recommendations: The full-bodied dark chocolate and plum character of the Fairview 2007 Primo Pinotage is an apt cohort to the rich chocolate and spice of the dessert.

Ingredients
  • For the chocolate puddings:
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing moulds
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 5 large whole eggs
  • 5⁄8 cup superfine sugar or 5⁄8 cup granulated sugar ground in a food processor
  • 83⁄4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 3⁄8 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the garnishes:
  • 6 fresh figs, sliced in half lengthwise, optional
  • 6 to 12 sprigs lavender, optional
  • For the fig sauce:
  • Fresh Fig Sala
  • 3 Fresh figs
  • 3 tbs Brown Sugar
  • 40g Butter
  • 50ml Cream
  • Melt butter & dissolve brown sugar.
  • Add cream & fresh fig jam.
  • Garnish with fresh fig halves.
  • For the lavender chili ice cream:
  • 1.75L cream
  • 450ml milk
  • 1 handful of fresh lavender, chopped finely
  • 15 yolks
  • 350g Castor Sugar
  • Quarter finely chopped red chilli
Directions

Heat the cream, milk lavender & chilli’s until just boiling. Cook sabayon with eggs and sugar
Add to milk mixture and cook over double boiler
Churn in the ice-cream machine.

To prepare the puddings: Grease six (1-cup) ramekins very well with soft butter. With a whisk, beat together the yolks, eggs and sugar until well blended and pale in color, about 2 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and butter gently in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir with a whisk or spatula to ensure that it is completely smooth. (You can also melt it in the microwave, but be careful that it does not burn.) Remove from the heat and slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, whisking until smooth.

Sift the flour over the batter and fold it in. Divide the mixture evenly among the buttered ramekins. They will be about 3⁄4 full. (The batter will be pourable now but will firm up as the ramekins chill, so pour into the ramekins before mixture firms. The batter will rise as it bakes and fill the ramekins.)

Cover the ramekins with plastic, but don’t let it touch the batter. (You can put them into a bakingpan and cover the pan if you like). Chill 6 hours or overnight.

To finish the puddings: Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the puddings for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the centers start to dome slightly and a sugar crust forms. Let cool for 2 to 4 minutes in the ramekins. Turn out carefully by running a knife around the inside edge of the ramekins to loosen the puddings Then place a dessert plate on top of one ramekin, and holding it on tightly, flip it over, lifting off the ramekin and allowing any leaking pudding to remain on the plate. (Do let them cool or they will fall apart, but don’t leave them in the ramekins longer than that or the centers might harden.)

To assemble the dish: With each pudding on a dessert plate, top with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle the fig sauce over the top. If available, garnish with a fresh halved fig and 1 or 2 lavender sprigs.

Published on October 6, 2010
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