• Chocolate puddings never went out of fashion.

    TO DRINK: Complement the fruit flavours but break the sweetness – go for 2005 Bellingham Merlot with a dash of Malbec.

    Self-saucing mini-chocolate puddings with fruit compote

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 40 mins plus freezing time


    • Pudding

    • 200g good quality dark chocolate
    • 150g butter, cubed
    • 3 jumbo eggs
    • 3 jumbo egg yolks
    • 100g castor sugar
    • 80g cake flour
    • Compote

    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
    • 2 whole cloves
    • 6 coffee beans
    • 130g dried figs, halved
    • 100g dried pears, halved lengthwise
    • 50g dried apple
    • 250ml sweet dessert wine
    • 130ml apple juice
    • 1 fresh pear, peeled, cored and sliced
    • 1 fresh green apple, peeled, cored and sliced
    • icing sugar, for dusting



    Preheat the oven to 220°C. Lightly grease 6 x 10cm dariole moulds.


    For the pudding, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.


    Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, and fold in the flour. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, mixing thoroughly.


    Spoon the mixture into the moulds and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 2 hours.


    Remove from the freezer and place on a baking tray. Bake until the cake is firm around the edges and starts to come away from the sides of the moulds, about 15 minutes.


    For the compote, combine the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, cloves, coffee beans and dried fruit in a large heavy-based pot. Add the wine and juice and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the pear and apple. Cover and cook until soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.


    Remove the puddings from the oven, loosen the edges with a palette knife and turn out onto a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with the compote.