While I was picking up a few bits in M&S these fabulous looking chocolate puddings caught my eye. They really are quite stunning to see, they are made of chocolate mousse, look like individual Christmas puddings and are encased in a neat plastic bubble to protect them. I picked them up to have as a treat after tea, and after I paid for them I put them in my shopping bag to carry home. As M&S is in the town centre this did mean that these got lugged around a few other shops before finally being transported by car home. Despite the fact that one of these must have been nearly sideways in the bag for most of that journey they actually arrived in perfect condition which was pretty impressive. Even more so when I took them out of the fridge to serve and I discovered that these are literally just made of mousse and there was no hard chocolate surface protecting them. The mousse sits very neatly on its own plastic tray, which I think might be the best way to serve them. I thought they would look nice on proper plates but when I realised how delicate and soft they are the black plastic tray that they are already sitting in looked like a much safer idea. They do have a firmer base if you want to negotiate the transfer, but I could see it ending in disaster.
The dessert is made up of a thin layer of firm chocolate sponge as a base, a huge serving of silky chocolate mousse, a layer of white chocolate mousse, a pretty holly decoration and, saving the best to last, a luscious caramel filling. From the first mouthful it was clear that the phrase mousse wasn’t doing this dessert justice. Its rich, and has a lovely strong chocolate flavour, with a good hint of sweetness. The texture is thick and silky, and not soft and bubbly like I was expecting, it was more of a fondant. The texture gives the dessert substance, and although it is quite filling you appreciate every spoonful. While eating the indulgent chocolate fondant, you hit caramel gold in the middle. There is a thick gloopy serving of rich caramel, that has dark tones and a hint of salt that contrasts nicely with the sweeter flavours. The caramel works so well with the chocolate and really adds tot the overall indulgence perfectly. It breaks up the lovely rich chocolate flavours.
In summary this dessert was outstanding. The full flavour of rich chocolate and salty caramel were perfectly matched and every mouthful was heaven. To top that they look stunning too. If you are looking for a chocolaty pudding to treat yourself, or something special for guests who don’t like Christmas pudding then this is perfect. To be honest I’m going to pick up another batch next Saturday just so that there are some in the fridge to look forward to. It’s going to be a major disappointment when then these disappear in the new year.