Your Xmas dessert doesn't need to be traditional! if you'd rather give the plum pudding and trifle a miss, I recommend venturing down the chocolate path. We in New Zealand enjoy such a mish mash of Xmas food traditions (like things that are clearly meant for cold Northern-Hemisphere conditions). It seems perfectly acceptable to create a new sweet treat to add to the options. These dark and rich flourless pudding can be made in advance and heated on the day, making them a simple option of you're entertaining. The addition of Pinot Noir gives a lovely depth and the cherries give that hint of Xmas flavour.
I wrote this recipe for my fabulous friends at Nautilus Estate Wines and can attest to the fact they are pretty darn irresistible!
Chocolate, cherry & pinot noir puddings
Makes 8 small individual puddings
150g room temperature butter – cut into cubes
¾ cup light muscovado sugar
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 free range eggs
1 ½ cups almond meal / ground almonds
125g dark chocolate (I used Whittakers 50% dark chocolate)
1 x 425g tinned black cherries
To serve: Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place the butter, sugar and cocoa into a food processor. Blitz until thoroughly mixed. Add the baking powder, eggs and almond meal. Run the machine until combined.
Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or a microwave. Add to the processor while running. Followed by the wine.
Pour the batter into 8 x ¾ cup ramekins that have been well greased and lightly floured. Press 3 x cherries into each. If you don’t have ramekins, you could use 8 holes of a 12-hole muffin tin (line with baking paper)
Bake for 22 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving. They will deflate but this is normal. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days before serving. Bring to room temperature before reheating. Place in 100 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Puddings can be frozen for up to 2 months.