200 g (7 oz) plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50 g (2 oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
4 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoons warm water
sifted icing sugar, to decorate
6 tablespoons double cream
4 teaspoons chopped mint


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl, and leave until just melted.
2.Meanwhile, butter 4 mugs, each 250 ml (8 fl oz), checking first that they will fit in the slow cooker pot.
3.Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the sugar a teaspoonful at a time until it has all been added and the meringue is thick and glossy.
4. Take the bowl of melted chocolate and butter off the saucepan, stir in the egg yolks and measurement warm water and gently fold in a spoonful of the egg whites to loosen the mixture.
5.Fold in the remaining egg whites, then divide between the mugs. Cover the tops with domed foil and put into the slow cooker pot.
6. Pour boiling water into the pot to come halfway up the sides of the mugs. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 1-14 hours or until the puddings are softly set in the centre.
7.Lift the puddings out of the slow cooker pot using a tea towel and remove the foil. Mix the cream and mint together and pour into a jug.
8.Dust the puddings with icing sugar and serve immediately with the mint cream.
9.FOR GINGERED MOUSSES WITH ORANGE CREAM, add 4 teaspoons drained, finely chopped stem ginger to the mousse mixture and cook as above.
10.To serve with the hot puddings, stir an extra 2 teaspoons drained, finely chopped stem ginger and the finely grated rind of 1 orange into 6 tablespoons crème fraîche in a bowl.

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