As demonstrated by Liz from COOK Puddings at the virtual Friday Lunch Club in February, this is one of her go-to recipes. Pear optional, can be replaced by other fruits, e.g. bananas, raspberries, tinned pears, tinned pineapple...
1 tin of pear halves (ideally in juice not syrup), cut in half again or small pieces (if you use fresh pears, make sure to poach them first)
140g caster sugar
100g butter, cut into cubes
100g cream, whipping or double
240g dark chocolate (53% is enough, otherwise it may become too bitter), broken into small pieces
Amaretti biscuits or toasted flaked almonds (optional)
Heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan)
Place the pears in the base of a shallow baking dish, or put a piece of pear in the base of 7 or 8 individual baking dishes - ramekins are ideal.
Place sugar and eggs into a mixing bowl. Whisk until thick and creamy (mousse-like) – this really needs to be with an electric mixer (handheld or free standing will both be fine).
While the eggs are whisking melt the butter and dark chocolate in a pan over a very gentle heat on the hob (don't let it get too hot). Once the chocolate has melted, take off the heat and add the cream.
Fold the chocolate mix into the whisked egg and sugar mix and fold in gently (to not let all the air out of the mix).
Pour the mix into the baking dish over the pears. Or into the individual dishes. Let the mix come about ¾ up the side of the dish.
Sprinkle over a few crushed amaretti biscuits or flaked almonds, if you like.
Bake the large pudding for about 25-30 mins (or for individual pots for 15-20 mins). The pudding is best when it is still soft in the middle. You can sprinkle a little icing sugar to make them look pretty.
Serve immediately with thick cream or custard.
The mix can be made in advance and refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen then cooked from fridge/freezer when needed - cooking times will need to be adjusted accordingly.