Chocolate Puddings (Budini)

These are the essence of chocolate, so use something you really, really like; I use 70% Sharffenberger.  The recipe is scaled for a personal treat.  And they're flourless so gluten-free

3-4 small ramekins (4 oz / 1/2 cup /125 mL)
Oven 375 degrees F       Time 20-25 minutes

2 oz (56 grams) dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
1/3 stick of butter (about 2 1/2 tablespoons or 40 grams)

1 oz unsalted toasted nuts (30 grams) (almonds, pine nuts, macadamias, flaked unsweetened coconut)
ground with
8 mahleb seeds* (optional but super delicious for that floral/almond flavor that complements the vanilla in most chocolate)
1/4 cup sugar less 1 teaspoon (45 grams)

1 egg

1 tablespoon dried sour cherries or other dried fruit or a bit of chopped crystallized/candied ginger (optional, what you like)

Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave on 30% power, stirring occasionally, and set aside to cool a little.

Grind nuts, seeds (f using), and sugar together in the  spice grinder or, if scaling up, in food processor to very fine texture.

Whisk the egg together with the nuts and sugar; then stir into the melted chocolate mixture.

Stir in the cherries or ginger bits or other tiny flavorful additions, if you're OK with the texture being added. 

Pour into 3 small ramekins (4 oz or 1/2 cup size; probably regular muffin tins would work with paper liners too).  Bake 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes (should still be a bit gooey inside).

Fabulous warm (or rewarmed gently) with a bit of whipped cream.

*these are the pits of a type of cherry, being in the same family as almonds and stone fruits, are terrific in desserts containing cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, etc.  You can find it with middle eastern or Armenian grocery items in stores like Jons that have international groceries.  Also called Mahaleb or mahalab.  They taste bitter, so donít try to eat them straight; they need to be ground or powdered and mixed with sugars or flours etc. 

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