Lighter than a pudding and richer than a souffle, this combines the best of both.
1 tsp butter
150g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
85g castor sugar
1 tbsp brandy, rum or whisky
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
4 large eggs, separated
1 tbsp plain flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 190C. Butter four 150ml heatproof souffle bowls or ramekins and place on a baking tray.
Melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from the pot, allow to cool slightly, then beat in the castor sugar, brandy and vanilla essence. Beat in the egg yolks, one by one, and then the flour. The mixture will be fairly stiff. Whisk or beat the egg whites until stiff and peaky, then gently fold them into the chocolate mixture.
Pour into the prepared pots and bake for 10-12 minutes until well-risen. They should be a little gooey inside.
For an extra-indulgent dessert, serve with your favourite chocolate sauce.
NOTE: The puddings can be baked earlier, and reheated at 190C for 10 minutes. They will rise again to about two-thirds their original height, and be gooey and pudding-like inside.