Chocolate puddings with basil cream

Adam Liaw
Get fresh with a new way of using basil (in chocolate puddings!)
Get fresh with a new way of using basil (in chocolate puddings!) Photo: William Meppem. Food preparation: Breesa Swann. Styling: Hannah Meppem

There's usually very little occasion for a single herb to really express itself, but it's when they're out on their own that herbs can really shine. Basil and chocolate are a surprisingly good combination. But this pudding is as much about matching the luxurious texture of the whipped cream to the gooey chocolate filling as it is about flavours.

Ingredients

235g dark chocolate, chopped

50g unsalted butter

100g castor sugar

3 eggs

2 tbsp plain flour

Basil cream

300ml pouring cream

2 tbsp castor sugar

¼ cup finely shredded basil leaves, plus extra for garnish

Method

For the basil cream

Place the cream, sugar and basil leaves in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Strain the cream through a fine sieve to remove the basil and then whip the cream to soft peaks and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the puddings

Heat your oven to 180C.

Grease four 1/2-cup ramekins.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed above a saucepan of simmering water, or by pulsing in the microwave for 30-second bursts, then allow to cool slightly.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time, until all combined. Whisk through the flour, then stir through the chocolate to form a smooth batter.

Divide the batter between the ramekins and bake for 20 minutes until cooked on the outside but still soft in the centre.

Serve warm with dollops of the cream and a few basil leaves scattered on top.

Adam's tip: To keep herbs fresh, wash them well and wrap them in damp kitchen paper and keep them in the crisper in a press-seal bag. Change the paper every few days and you'll get an extra week or so out of almost any herb.