this chocolate puddle pudding has a crusted sponge top and oozes with molten chocolate underneath.
50 g dark chocolate
300 ml milk
2 tbsp brandy, optional
50 g unsalted butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
25 g self-raising flour
ice cream or whipped cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Put the chocolate in a small saucepan with the milk and heat gently until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the brandy if using.
Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg yolks, flour, cocoa powder and chocolate mixture.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate, grease-free bowl until they hold their shape. Using a large metal spoon, fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Turn the mixture into a 1.5 litre pie dish or into 5 or 6 ramekins around 8cm x 8cm in size and place in a roasting tin. Pour boiling water to a depth of 2.5cm into the tin. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes in a pie dish or about 20 minutes in ramekins, until a crust has formed on top.
Dust generously with cocoa powder and serve hot with whipped cream.