You don't want to use a chocolate that is too dark or bitter in this recipe, because there is not a lot of sugar. If serving as a hot pudding, use small ovenproof ramekins or moulds you can take straight to the table. If making ahead, allow the puddings to sit for 10 minutes before inverting onto serving plates.
To prepare the ramekins
30g castor sugar
1 tsp ground anise seeds
30g unsalted butter, softened
For the batter
300g cooking chocolate (about 60 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
4 large eggs, at room temperature
60g castor sugar
120ml double cream
200g creme fraiche, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan-forced). Combine the 30g of sugar with the anise in a small bowl and set aside. Brush the ramekins or moulds generously with the softened butter, then sprinkle the anise sugar to coat evenly, tapping away any excess. Place the prepared ramekins in a large, deep baking dish and set aside.
2. Place the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl isn't touching the water. Stir gently with a spatula from time to time to ensure the chocolate melts evenly. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat, stir in the orange zest and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the whisk attachment and beat on high for about 6 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy, and has trebled in volume. Meanwhile, place the cream in a medium bowl and whisk by hand or with a hand-held electric whisk until very soft peaks form.
4. Remove the bowl (with eggs and sugar) from the mixer. Add the chocolate in two batches and gently fold through using a rubber spatula. When almost combined – there will be some streaks – fold in whipped cream until combined. It will lose a little volume, but be careful not to over-mix.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them three-quarters of the way up the sides. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and carefully pour just-boiled water into the tray, so that it rises a third of the way up the sides. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the puddings are softly set in the middle; check by gently tapping the centre with your fingers. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using oven gloves, transfer the ramekins on to serving plates. Alternatively, allow the puddings to rest for 10 minutes before inverting onto serving plates. Serve with creme fraiche.