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Top chefs at home: Jérôme Ponchelle

Jérôme Ponchelle, Executive Chef at The Capital Restaurant, and father of Alexis, four, and Téo, three, on home-cooked food and the recipe for his favourite family pudding

Posted: 9 September 2010
by Catherine O'Dolan

What would be your perfect family dinner? A selection of crudités with olives and dips followed by pan-fried seabass and leaf spinach, and then a lovely vanilla rice pudding to finish.

What are the best recipes for weaning a baby? Freshly cooked purée made with 75 per cent carrot and
25 per cent potato.

Any golden rules for raising a happy eater? Don’t give them snacks between meals.

What’s the best way to tempt a fussy eater?
I always use a sauce for my children to dip their food in. It is just a game to them, but it makes them eat anything.

Where do you dine out with your children? For a local family meal, my favourite restaurant is The Castle Inn, in Chiddingstone, Kent, where you can enjoy great food in a very relaxed atmosphere.

Steamed Chocolate Sponge Pudding
Serves 6

100g (3oz) unsalted butter
150g (5oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
200g (7oz) self-raising flour
50g (2oz) cocoa powder
50g (2oz) grated chocolate

Mix together the butter and sugar work until it forms a creamy texture. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time until the mixture is smooth. Incorporate the flour, cocoa powder and grated chocolate. Place the mix in small portion-size pudding moulds and cover with a lid. Place the moulds in a steamer or in a pan of boiling water (so the water goes halfway up to the mould) and cook for around 35 minutes. To check that they are cooked, just put the blade of a small knife into the pudding and it should come out without any of the mixture sticking to the blade. Serve with custard.

The Capital Restaurant, The Capital, 22 Basil Street, London SW3 1AT. Tel: 020 7589 5171; visit or email

Simply click on the following names to discover the family food secrets and special recipes of chefs Tristan Welch, Richard Bertinet and Henry Dimbleby.

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Chefs, home, family, kitchen, recipes, delicious, kids, children, baby, dinner, dine, restaurant, fussy, tempt, chocolate, custard, pudding, steamed

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