Chocolate moelleux

These gooey melting middle desserts from Jason Atherton cost less than 70p per serving and live up to the description moelleux: soft, tender, moist and sweet
By Jason Atherton
Chocolate moelleux
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the moelleux

  • butter, , for greasing
  • cocoa powder, , sifted, to coat
  • 55 g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 55 g dark chocolate, , 85% cocoa solids, chopped
  • 110 g unsalted butter, , diced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 50 g plain flour, , sifted
  • 150 g caster sugar

For the chestnut sabayon

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100 sugar syrup
  • 100 chestnut purée
  • 75 whipping cream, , softly whipped
  • A little extra whipping cream, (optional)

To serve (optional)

  • chocolate
  • Toasted chestnuts, , to sprinkle
  • chocolate
  • vanilla ice cream

Method

1. For the chestnut sabayon: gently whisk the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl.

2. Boil the sugar syrup in a heavy-based saucepan until it registers 118C on a sugar thermometer (or when a small amount is dropped into cold water it van be rolled between your fingers to form a soft ball). Immediately and slowly pour onto the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Keep whisking until the sides of the bowl no longer feel warm.

3. Fold in the chestnut paste, followed by the whipped cream. For a thinner consistency, incorporate a little more cream. Refridgerate until needed

4. For the moelleux: you will need 8 small square metal moulds or ramekins, about 125ml capacity. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. If using ramekins, line the bases with baking parchment. Brush the moulds well with butter, using upward strokes around the sides. Chill until firm, then repeat to get a thicker layer. Dust with cocoa powder, shaking out the excess. Set the moulds on a baking tray.

5. Melt all the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Take off the heat and allow to cool until tepid. Beat the eggs and yolks together, using an electric mixer until pale and light. Mix the flour with the sugar, then fold into the whisked eggs. Finally, fold in the melted chocolate and butter mix.

6. Spoon the mixture into the moulds to three-quarters fill them. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until the chocolate moelleux is set around the edges but still moist and runny in the centre. The surface should look set but have a slight wobble. Let cool for a minute.

7. To assemble, you'll need to work quickly. If you like, decorate the serving plates with melted chocolate and crushed pistachios. Carefully run a small knife around the edges of each mould and invert onto the plates. Top the chocolate moelleux with chocolate paper squares and edible silver leaf, if using, or drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with pistachios. Spoon a little chestnut sabayon alongside. Place a scoop of ice cream on the plate if you wish. Serve at once.

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