Melt-in-the-mouth chocolate puddings with banana ice cream
James Martin makes his trademark instant banana ice cream to serve alongside gooey chocolate puddings. Remember to freeze your bananas beforehand.
For the crème anglaise
For the chocolate puddings
For the banana ice cream
For the sautéed bananas
For the crème anglaise, place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl, then slowly whisk in the hot milk until well combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until just thickened, stirring all the time.
For the chocolate puddings, preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Grease four 5cm/2in dariole moulds with butter, using a pastry brush and brushing in horizontal lines around the inside of the tins to help the mixture rise.
Melt the chocolate and butter into a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water.)
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for two minutes or until pale and fluffy, then mix in the flour. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the moulds so that they are three-quarters full and tap lightly to remove any air bubbles. (The puddings can be frozen at this stage, defrost thoroughly before baking.)
Place the puddings onto a baking tray and bake for eight minutes.
Meanwhile, for the banana ice cream, remove the frozen bananas from the freezer and leave to defrost slightly for a few minutes. Blend the frozen bananas, vanilla, sugar and half of the buttermilk in a food processor until smooth. While the motor is running, slowly add the remaining buttermilk and continue to blend until smooth and creamy.
For the sautéed bananas, heat a frying pan until hot, add the butter and bananas and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until just golden-brown. Add the brandy and flambé the liquid by slowly tilting the pan towards the gas flame to set alight, or lighting it with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down. (Caution: keep your face and hair away from the flames. Do not leave unattended.)
Add the sugar and continue to cook until the sugar has melted and the bananas are caramelised.
To serve, turn the chocolate puddings out onto serving plates and spoon the ice cream and bananas alongside. Drizzle over the crème anglaise.