Monday, 12 November 2012

Apple puddings and hot chocolate / Flognarde aux pommes et chocolat chaud

Cold autumn afternoons off mean only one thing: it's baking time! While I am undoubtedly more salty than sugary, there is something calming about baking. The 'here a pinch, there a pinch' approach that I usually take when cooking savoury dishes doesn't work quite as well when it comes to making desserts. 

In my experience, to get cakes and puddings right, a minimum of concentration is required: an extra 10 grams can make all the difference. So when I need to leave behind money troubles, expensive MOTs or our noisy neighbours, baking is a leisure pursuit that I can dive into and just forget about everything else. Only the kitchen scales matter!

As apples are in season at the minute I decided to make the most of this greedy fact by trying out a new recipe. 

Recette: Apple pudding (serves 6)

Beat 4 eggs with a packet of vanilla sugar and 120g brown sugar, adding a pinch of salt. Add 80g of flour and 40g of cornflour and mix until smooth. Thin out the mixture by adding 500ml of milk. Add 40g of melted butter to the bowl and mix.

Heat the oven to 190C or gas mark 6/7. Grease a large ovenproof dish and brush over a thin layer of flour. Peel and chop 4/5 apples and spread them out in the dish. 
Pour over the pudding mixture, taking care to spread it evenly. Put in the oven for 40 mins, then leave to cool in the unlit oven.

As you may be able to tell from the first photo, this is another Sud Ouest beauty from my months of the year cookbook collection - I just can't get enough of these colourful, delicious and reasonably priced recipes!

Cheri and I were both pleased with the result. More pudding than cake, this autumnal dessert has a soft and creamy texture that much ressembles the traditional French clafoutis. The brown sugar balances out nicely the acidity of the apples and while undoubtedly quite a sweet dish, it isn't sickly at all. 

The only slight downside for me was the appearance. Once out of the oven, the apples and pudding mixture turned out a similar pale brown colour; I would have preferred the apples to caramelise a bit instead to provide a nice colour contrast! 

Either way, this dessert is to be consumed without moderation, and ideally accompanied by a big mug of hot chocolate with cinnamon.Even Fifi (my tabby cat) wanted a bit!

Fifi giving my slice of flognarde his "come-on eyes"

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