Chocolate Sponge Puddings

My house has been taken over by canning jars.  They are everywhere.  My kitchen, my dining room, inside my refrigerator, and down in my basement.  Some are full of obvious things, like jam and marmalade, and not so obvious things, like salad dressing and bacon grease.  Others hold dry goods like rice, dehydrated mushrooms, and pasta.  But it’s the ones that sit empty, waiting to fulfill their destiny as a vessel, that taunt me.

So I try and find creative ways to use them.  Did you know that an 8 ounce canning jar holds one serving of soup perfectly?  It does and so I use them when I pack soup in my lunch.  It’s this creative use of jars that, to me, explains the explosion of the “in a jar” phenomenon.  Pie in a jar?  Yep.  Cupcake in a jar?  Absolutely.  I’ve also seen fruit cobbler in a jar, cookie mix in a jar, and of course cocktails in a jar.

What you don’t realize when you start canning is that the empty jars will take up a lot of freaking space.  So it’s better to actively use them for something, anything, than to find room to store them all.  Besides, everything looks absolutely adorable when served in a jar.  Hence, “in a jar” trends.

This of course is only my opinion and is not backed up by any scientific research or independent measurements.  Basically, it’s just me:

A) Trying to justify my continued acquisition of jars

B) Finding an way to transition to a recipe for Chocolate Sponge Pudding….baked in a jar.

C) All of the above.

Chocolate Sponge Puddings

Adapted from Melissa d’Arabian

BAH Note: Despite the simplicity of the recipe, I struggled a fair bit.  My egg whites fought being incorporated into the batter.  And I had to nearly double Melissa’s recommended cooking time in order to get the puddings to set.  Of course, I didn’t find out that they needed more cooking until I had a spoonful ready to pop in my mouth…so that one didn’t make it back into the oven and we’ll write that serving off as quality control.  After some additional time in the oven, the bottom of the pudding was rich and thick while the top was spongelike and cakey.  You can make these in ramekins but I used small (4 ounce) canning jars.  So where I say “jars” below, you can pretend it says ramekins if that’s what you have.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used vanilla salt, because I had some)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and spray the insides of 4 small canning jars with nonstick spray.  Divide 1 tablespoon of sugar among the jars and completely coat the inside with the sugar.

Combine the cocoa, flour, and salt in a small bowl.  In another bowl, or mixing cup, combine the milk and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with a hand mixer until the sugar dissolves and the yolks are very pale yellow.  Add the half of the cocoa mixture and then half of the milk to the eggs in two additions, beat until smooth and then add the remaining cocoa and milk and thoroughly combine.

In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until incorporated, being careful not to overmix the batter, and divide the batter among the jars.

Fill a baking pan or dutch oven large enough to hold the jars with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars.  Carefully place the jars in the water bath and bake for 15 to 30 minutes or until the sides of the cakes begin to pull away from the jar and the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Carefully remove the jars from the water bath (if you have canning tongs, they would be perfect) and serve immediately.  Leftovers can be refrigerated…but I can’t really imagine there being any leftovers.

{printable recipe}

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14 Responses to Chocolate Sponge Puddings

  1. I have sooo many jars. I really just need to fill them with something!

  2. JenniferA says:

    I don’t even can and I have quite a jar collection. I think half of them are from you. 😉

    Have you seen the little plastic freezing jars Bell has out now? I think I need those even though I can’t fit anything in my stupid side-by-side freezer.

    • Wendi says:

      Jennifer, I think this is The Universe’s way of telling you it’s time to start canning. Why else would all these jars be coming your way?

      I have seen the freezer containers but because I have no room in my cursed side by side, I have yet to buy any.

  3. Brooke says:

    I baked tea cakes in mason jars last weekend. With blackberries on the bottom. And put ice cream on top. It was fabulous but I definitely need longer spoons if I do this again… which it looks like I might. *starred*

    • Wendi says:

      I love the idea of tea cakes in the jars. You gonna share that recipe?

      These cooked in 4 ounce jars…the short ones. No special freakishly long spoons necessary.

  4. Jenna says:

    Things in a jar . . . that reminds me that I loved your Love Bombs!!! =) I had the last one for breakfast on Saturday with my coffee and it was a delight. You are the sweetest for sending those. You win 5 gold stars for being the blogger that has mailed out the most treats (the Love Bombs, the wood butter, the thank you note, those lollipops from that giveaway last year–am I forgetting anything??).

    • Wendi says:

      Oh wow, you have gotten quite a few packages from me haven’t you??? Hope you will be inspired to pass on some of that love in a random bit of Love Bombing.

  5. Jen W. says:

    What a fun way to make pudding. I don’t have too many jars though. I like the idea of canning, but somehow I never get around to it. Maybe next year. (Maybe…)

  6. Lan says:

    fan of jars. D also fills up his random jars with.. .random stuff. i like them with flowers, gives the table a rustic look. 🙂

    • Wendi says:

      I’m a big user of jars for non-jarring purposes. I think you and D should agree as follows…he fills the jar first with a tempting treat and then you fill them with something pretty. Win win.

  7. Tracy says:

    I love, love, love mason jars, and I too use them any way I can, but right now mostly for holding the fresh herbs I get from our CSA. I also have to second Jenna and thank you for the Love Bomb!! I was so confused when I got it as I couldn’t figure out where it came from until Amber told me that it was from you, haha. So lovely and I will definitely be passing on the love! 🙂

  8. Jen Schall says:

    Ooh… I have lots of canning jars. Think it would be bad of me to make pint-sized puddings and eat the whole jar? 🙂

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