Delia Smith's Winter Collection
FEBRUARY 05 2012


So far I've learned that it's pretty darn easy to make really rich, super ooey-gooey decadent desserts. The only problem is that no one will actually eat them. I sure won't (born without a sweet tooth) and hubby doesn't care much for chocolate. And if I take it to work or to a party, the overall response is something akin to anger or annoyance... "Wow, that looks really good. How dare you bring it here and tempt me with your delicious dessert! I'm trying to eat healthy and lose a few pounds! Don't you even care?!?"

chocolate is melted, now time to assemble

I thought Super Bowl would be the perfect opportunity to get a few desserts out of the way. And, I focused on the chocolate ones since we are an anti-chocolate household. Luckily, today's torture devices were ridiculously easy to make. They both started similarly, just melt a bunch of chocolate in a double boiler with butter and cream. Then, for the bread & butter pudding, I whisked the mix with some eggs and poured it over the bread.

luscious chocolate drizzle

now to chill for a couple days

Then, after seasoning for two days in the fridge, just bake the whole shebang for 30 minutes until the top is crunchy and the inside is still "soft and squidgy". Served warm smothered with "pouring cream" (I used heavy whipping cream), this is a bang-up dessert. Super rich. I couldn't only take a few bites before my teeth started hurting, but that's just me. If you're looking for a crazy easy, make ahead, fabulous dessert (which you're probably not actually looking for), this is it.

baked chocolate bread & butter pudding

The brownies veered slightly in that the chocolate mix was stirred with flour, sugar, nuts and a couple eggs, then spread into a parchment-lined dish and baked 30 minutes. Delia likes them to be "soft, damp and squidgy" inside and they definitely were. After the first cooling period, they still were so soft that it was almost impossible to cut into squares with out destroying them. So I let them sit a little longer, but they still ended up looking pretty ragged. I snuck these guys into prize bags for Super Bowl Bingo so, in this case, my victims had little chance to refuse their sugar-laden treat. (Muahahaha!)

mixing up the brownies

baked brownies
so squidgy inside and hard to cut!


I have to thank Larkin Warren, a wonderful American chef, for her original recipe, which I have adapted. It is quite simply one of the most brilliant hot puddings ever invented. It's so simple but so good – and even better prepared two days in advance. Serve in small portions because it is very rich. Though I doubt if there will be any left over, it's also wonderful cold.

Serves 6

9 slices good quality white bread, one day old, taken from a large, medium sliced loaf
5 oz dark chocolate (70-75% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
3 oz butter
15 fl oz whipping cream
4 tablespoons dark rum
4 oz caster/superfine sugar
Good pinch cinnamon
3 large eggs

To serve:
Well chilled pouring cream


Begin by removing the crusts from the slices of bread, which should leave you with 9 pieces about 4 inches (10 cm) square. So now cut each slice into 4 triangles. Next, place the chocolate, whipping cream, rum, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water, then wait until the butter and chocolate have melted and the sugar has completely dissolved. Next, remove the bowl from the heat and give it a really good stir to amalgamate all the ingredients.

Now in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then pour the chocolate mixture over them and whisk again very thoroughly to blend them together.

Then spoon about a ½ inch (1 cm) layer of the chocolate mixture into the base of a lightly buttered 7 x 9 inch dish and arrange half the bread triangles over the chocolate in overlapping rows. Now, pour half the remaining chocolate mixture all over the bread as evenly as possible, then arrange the rest of the triangles over that, finishing off with a layer of chocolate. Use a fork to press the bread gently down so that it gets covered very evenly with the liquid as it cools.

Cover the dish with clingfilm and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours before transferring it to the fridge for a minimum of 24 (but preferably 48) hours before cooking. When you're ready to cook the pudding, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C). Remove the clingfilm and bake in the oven on a high shelf for 30-35 minutes, by which time the top will be crunchy and the inside soft and squidgy. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving with well-chilled pouring cream poured over.


If you've never made brownies before, you first need to get into the brownie mode, and to do this stop thinking 'cakes'. Brownies are slightly crisp on the outside but soft, damp and squidgy within. I'm always getting letters from people who think their brownies are not cooked, so once you've accepted the description above, try and forget all about cakes.

Makes 15 squares

1 oz macadamia nuts
1 oz Brazil nuts
1 oz pecan nuts
1 oz hazelnuts
2 oz dark chocolate (75% cocoa solids)
4 oz butter
2 large eggs, beaten
8 oz granulated sugar
2 oz plain flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
¼ level teaspoon salt


You will also need a well-greased oblong baking tin measuring 7 x 11 inches, lined with baking parchment, allowing the paper to come 1 inch above the tin.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Begin by chopping the nuts roughly, not too small, then place them on a baking sheet and toast them in a pre-heated oven for 8 minutes exactly. Please use a timer here otherwise you'll be throwing burned nuts away all day! While the nuts are cooking, put the chocolate and butter together in a large mixing bowl fitted over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Allow the chocolate to melt, then beat it until smooth, remove it from the heat and simply stir in all the other ingredients until thoroughly blended.

Now spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 30 minutes or until it's slightly springy in the centre. Remove the tin from the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into roughly 15 squares. Then, using a palette knife, transfer the squares on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

These recipes are taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection.

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