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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dark Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

The last week was a very hectic and tiring one. There was so much to do throughout each day that by the time evening rolled in, I was ready to say good night! So, decided to stay away from the laptop as well as reading and other hobbies/activities that I usually indulge in before bed time. Now am much refreshed, thank you very much :). I guess sleeping in through the long weekend with no classes to chauffeur the little one to did the trick! Now am back and revving to go...

Another Valentine's Day came and went by. During the initial years of marriage I used to be pretty excited about "celebrating" V-Day - treating it at par with birthdays and our anniversary. As the years passed, it was just another day, though my husband never failed to get me flowers and/or chocolates, and  of course we ate out. Then the little one came along, and at school, it certainly is a grand occasion. So, now I get a personalized hand made card from him :). As do his teachers and classmates!

Well, sticking to tradition, I gave myself a holiday from the kitchen as far as dinner preparations are concerned. But we ordered delivery as it was freezing outside and it felt like too much to get dressed to dine out, specially after DH returned home tired from office and DS was about ready to doze off! But I decided to make dessert at home. Made jelly for the little one, so was at liberty to try out something different for us.


Last year, on my trip to India, my cousin made this delicious molten lava cake that I absolutely loved. Have been meaning to try it out for sometime now. So took this opportunity to do the same.

I used the molten chocolate cake recipe from Martha Stewart's website, but modified it to suit what I had in mind! For one, I used a combination of Ghirardelli intense dark 86% chocolate and Hershey's bittersweet chocolate chips. Also, I served it with French Vanilla ice cream instead of whipped cream.
A few years back, I used to watch Chef Curtis Stone's show Take Home Chef. In the show, chef Stone would visit a grocery store, randomly pick one of the customers, shop for them, go home with them and cook them a wonderful meal. Am sure that show has prompted me on many an occasion to pay attention to what I was wearing before I went grocery shopping! How many times have I wished Curtis Stone would film his show on the east coast! Imagine, a meal cooked by a celebrity chef - that he is way too cute in the looks department and speaks with that Aussie accent of his doesn't hurt either ;) Not any more though - now I am a regular in my "mommy" clothes, rushing along like a headless chicken trying to get all my chores done before rushing off to pick up kiddo from school and take him to whatever extra curricular activity is scheduled for the day!

OK, my reason for going off at a tangent like this is that, in one episode of the above mentioned show, chef Curtis added a bit of chilli powder to his chocolate cake and the couple who tasted it were raving about it! Fast forward all these years, I decided to go ahead and do the same to my molten lava cake. After all, how many chances was I going to get to try something risky in desserts when I am not cooking for my son!

OK, we have Martha Stewart and Curtis Stone. What about Priya? Oh I am there too - in a dash of Jamaican All Spice, a pinch of dry ginger powder and a few drops of Earl Grey tea!

All the flavors worked pretty well, but the cake is REALLY REALLY intense! You definitely need the ice cream (preferably vanilla, so that the flavors don't clash) to enjoy this dessert.

Another thing I'd like to mention is, bake the cake just before serving. If you leave it uneaten too long, it will deflate. Also, the inner molten layer will thicken. It just won't taste the way it is supposed to taste. The advantage with this recipe is, you can prepare everything, cover it with a cling wrap and refrigerate it, taking it out when you are ready to bake.

Preparation & Cooking: 30 minutes         Serves:6

Ingredients:
Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoon plus some more to grease the baking cups
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 3
All Purpose Flour - 1/3 cup
Bittersweet Chocolate Chips & Dark Chocolate - 8 oz
Confectioner's Sugar - For Dusting
Red Chilli Powder - ¼ teaspoon
Earl Grey Tea - 1 tea bag
Dry Ginger Powder - a pinch
Jamaican Allspice - a pinch
Salt - ¼ teaspoon

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Grease the baking cups with butter, dust with sugar and set them aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring well after every minute. It will take around 2-3 minutes to melt smoothly, without any lumps.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together till fluffy and add in the eggs one by one, beating well between additions
  4. Add in the flour, salt and spices and mix till well blended.
  5. Dip 1 bag of Earl Grey tea in a glass of hot water,  add a few drops of this to the mix as well.
  6. Finally, mix in the melted chocolate, divide batter among the baking cups and bake for around 10 minutes, till the tops of the cakes do not jiggle when shaken lightly.

  7. Remove from the oven, let it stand for 10 minutes.
Turn out the cakes bottom side up, dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately with your favorite ice cream.
PS: Don't forget to notice how the the inner chocolate layer simply oozes out when you make that first cut with your fork! I was too busy drooling over it, and by the time I finally managed to get around to clicking the picture, it was too late! So the picture does not do justice to the real thing!

Sending this across to
and
as well as Cooking With Love - Spouse event
and the "Lets Cook/Bake For Valentine" event.


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