Written by Chef Alan Zox, Ph.D, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 14 February 2014 11:05
Chocolate desserts seem to be the favorite of so many people. I guess I am just not running with the crowd these days because generally speaking, chocolate does not fill the bill for me. Fruit or pie do the job quite fine thank you plus a few special cake recipes such as coconut, lemon and almond desserts knock my socks off. Of course, the candy bars of my youth enhance my memory bank as well such as Pay Day, Butter Finger (yum), Snickers and Mounds.
When I am really indulging as an adult without admitting that I am not a chocolate lover, (a group that is quite frankly discriminated against), I turn to the exceptional, extraordinary, marvelous, and wonderful chocolate lava cake. It only includes four primary ingredients—chocolate; butter; eggs; and sugar. But it’s so divine that i will admit it here and now that I am inching toward joining the chocolate lovers of the world. How shall I describe this delight without exaggerating the joy and pleasure it gives me? Moist comes to mind along with warm and satisfying in a way that is special. No bigger than a 3-4 inch ramekin, Lava Cake is the perfect indulgence in that it’s not too big, and not too small. Just right comes to mind. It can be described as a warm chocolate pudding surrounded by a luscious chocolate cake. But Ican’t tell you whether this morsel of goodness calls for a fork or a spoon. It’s one of life’s subtle mysteries. May all of our problems be this difficult to manage.
The origin of this chocolate dessert is uncertain. Some give Chef Vongerichten credit. Others claim that mistakes made by long-forgotten bakers created the dessert. By serendipitously baking for too short a time they created a “runny” overly moist center. We can all be thankful for such errors. My version draws from all of these experiences with a few unique flavor enhancements including strong coffee and fresh fruit such as raspberries or mango slices.
In closing, I hope you won’t spite me for admitting my lava cake weakness. It’s worth it. I assure you. It will satisfy your sweet tooth on Valentine’s Day or any day you wish to enjoy the perfect dessert.
Chocolate Lava Cake—
4 oz of unsalted butter
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar, for dusting
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or mango slices
Preheat oven to 425F. Generously butter 6 ramekins. Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler. Add flour, sugar, coffee, salt, eggs and vanilla to the chocolate and whisk until very smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a pan filled halfway with warm water up the sides of the ramekins. Place in the oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes or until sides are set and centers are still soft. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates. Sprinkle with Confectioner’s sugar, a few raspberries and 2 mint leaves. So lovely! Delicious and so wonderful to enjoy with a close friend.