Warm, soft-centred chocolate pudding is a luscious treat – especially on the grey, grizzly days we have been having this week. My husband makes a gorgeous chocolate pudding at every restaurant he works at and it is one of my favourite desserts. However, I don’t fancy consuming white flour and sugar just to tickle my fancy for pudding. I like to think that my sweet treats can support my nutritional health as well taste gorgeous. So this recipe uses cooked quinoa (yes, trust me!) in place of flour which makes this recipe one of my few gluten-free recipes made without nuts. The quinoa adds an earthy flavour which sits well with the rich cacao and hints of coffee, cinnamon and vanilla. As an added bonus, quinoa provides protein, fibre, iron and magnesium – so you can have your cake and eat it too. Deceptively rich, you would not guess that the pudding contains just over 2 teaspoons of sugar per serve.
I particularly like this mix poured over bananas and baked, although it is delicious made with soft, ripe pears. The bananas do add to this dessert’s comfort factor and, to gild the lily, marry well with a dark chocolate sauce.
chocolate quinoa pudding
1/4c melted butter, olive oil or coconut oil
1c cooked quinoa (from 1/3c raw)
2/3c rice malt syrup or maple syrup
1/2c raw cacao powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp instant coffee or finely ground coffee (optional)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 soft ripe pears, peeled, cored, quartered or 3 large bananas, sliced thickly
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Arrange your choice of fruit in a small, shallow oven-proof dish and pour over the pudding batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 175’C until the edges are cooked but the centre is still a little soft. Allow to cool slightly before serving with chocolate sauce or cream or both. Serves 8.
Notes: for a simple chocolate sauce, heat 1/2c cream and pour over 100g of chopped 70% chocolate. Stir until smooth.
This is one of those dishes that has you high-fiving yourself in the kitchen with how freakin’ delicious it is. A zesty stuffing inspired by the lemon and parsley of gremolata is rolled up in chicken thighs and prosciutto. Simple enough for a school night dinner but fancy enough to be dressed up for dinner with friends. The amount of stuffing specified below would also be glorious stuffed into a whole chicken and roasted with lemon and garlic.
tomato baked chicken thighs with gremolata crumb stuffing
6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, free range if possible
6 rashers prosciutto or streaky bacon
1/4 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/4c pine nuts
some thyme or sage
1c breadcrumbs, fresh
1/2 lemon, zest of
small handful parsley, chopped
100g goats cheese (I used goat feta)
small handful grated parmesan
Firstly, make the stuffing. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic and thyme or sage in some olive oil until cooked through and fragrant. Turn off the heat, add the breadcrumbs and stir well. Place into a bowl and add the lemon zest, parsley and egg. Mix well. Crumble the goat cheese through and season with salt and pepper. Take the chicken thighs and slightly flatten each one by either gently using a meat mallet or slicing and opening the thicker parts of the thigh. Place a rasher of bacon or prosciutto on your chopping board and put a flattened chicken thigh along it. Season lightly. Put 1/6th of the stuffing down the middle of the thigh and roll up. Repeat with the remaining chicken and stuffing. In a lightly oiled pan over medium heat, gently brown the tops of the chicken rolls and place snugly into a deep baking dish. Pour the passata over the chicken and place into the oven at 190’C. Bake for 20 mins, sprinkle a handful of grated parmesan over the top and bake for a further 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
We had this for dinner with a sharply-dressed green salad tossed through warmed cannelini beans and roast zucchini. Some creamy polenta or sweet potato mash would not be remiss with this delicious meal. There were 2 lovely little chicken rolls left and I served them cold and sliced over a roast vegetable and couscous salad.
Get Ahead: Prepare the chicken the day before and have it ready to pop into the oven for dinner.