Sunday, November 30, 2008
Molten Chocolate Cake
Have you ever been to a chocolate museum? I have.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Stollwerck’s Chocolate Musueum in Germany. It was definitely an exhilarating experience.
First of all, the smell of chocolate that greets you as you enter the facility is one big sensory assassination-in a good way- and my senses responded to the stimulus accordingly.
I was like Willy Wonka the first time he set foot in the chocolate factory. I must have had my eyes wide open to make sure that I didn’t miss any of the chocolatey sights to behold. Ooohhhh...chocolates in all it’s forms and colors. I was in cloud 9 that day!
It was fascinating to note the difference between each type of chocolate - from dark, milk to white. There were also interesting tidbits to learn, like the history of chocolate and how it came to Europe, and the evolution of chocolate from then up to the present.... But I gotta admit, I really wasn’t paying so much attention to what the tour guide was saying. How can I concentrate when there’s a chocolate fountain nearby spurting some dark silky flowing lava of chocolate?? And right next to it was a bevy of pretzels, wafers and cookies ready to be dipped into that chocolatey goodness! And it's free for everyone to try! Hmmnn... I would have gladly remained right at that spot by the chocolate fountain while the rest of the tour progresses!
But thankfully, I managed to control myself and I went on with the tour. Afterall, there's a promise of a reward - being able to purchase their chocolate products at half the price at the end of the tour!
Needless to say, I left that chocolate museum with a big smile on my face and a bag-full of assorted chocolates -- so happy, that I swear I had a skip in my step, like a little child. Yeah, good times....This memory still brings a smile to my lips...
Anyhoe, here's my Molten Chocolate Cake. I made this a while back, just shortly before I had to leave for my trip to the Philippines a couple of months ago.
I was watching Wolfgang Puck’s show (Live, Love, Eat) on TV when he happened to be making this decadent dessert. Eversince that day, the vision of that luscious-chocolate cake haunted me, that I just gotta make it. But as always, life interferred so it took me a few weeks before I finally had the chance to do so.
But at last, here it is. What could be better than a warm chocolate cake from the oven oozing with chocolate goodness from the center? And it's easy to do. Believe me, this super-rich, gooey treat is what you need for next time that chocolate craving hits you.
Molten Chocolate Cake
8 oz. unsalted butter
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 C. sugar
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Lightly sweetened whipped cream or good quality vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
Raspberries and mint leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put about 3 oz. of the butter in a microwave-proof dish or a small saucepan. Heat in the microwave, or in the pan over low heat, just until the butter has melted. Thoroughly brush the insides of 6 individual 8-oz. custard cups or ramekins with the melted butter.
3. Cut up the remaining butter into pieces. Put the chocolate pieces and the butter pieces in the top pan of a double boiler or a medium heatproof bowl set over but not touching simmering water. Heat them, stirring frequently, until completely melted and smoothly blended. Remove the pan or bowl from the heat and set aside.
4. Put the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer, or in a mixing bowl if you are using a handheld electric mixer. Beat the eggs and sugar together at medium-high speed until the mixture turns pale yellow, thick, and creamy, about 5 minutes.
5. About a third at a time, use a spatula to fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the flour just until no streaks remain. With a ladle or large spoon, transfer this batter to the prepared custard cups or ramekins, filling them about two-thirds full. Put the cups or ramekins on a baking sheet.
6.Bake just until the cakes have risen and their sides look firm, 10-12 minutes, taking care not to over-bake them. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, carefully remove the cups or ramekins from the baking sheet, and set them aside to cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
7. Unmold onto individual serving plates, or simply place a cup or ramekin on each plate for serving.
8. Offer whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for each person to eat with the cake, if preferred.