36 – Molten Chocolate Cake

Sometimes, motivation is hard to come by; sometimes, ingredients go to waste. A well-meaning grocery shop for broccoli and sausage quiche necessities – sometimes, eventually – turns into a salvage operation, an “I’ve got broccoli that’s got a few days of life left, but the sausage was already repurposed and the cheese is long gone” kind of effort. I hate when food goes it waste, but sometimes it’s tempting to cut corners (like making a less labour-intensive chedder/sausage omelet in lieu of said quiche) even though it risks leaving well-meaning produce to waste away, unloved and uneaten. I hate it, but sometimes it happens.

Thankfully, chocolate doesn’t seem to ever suffer that same fate.

Actually…can chocolate even go bad? I mean, I’m sure it has the capacity to do so, E-V-E-N-T-U-A-L-L-Y…but does it ever? It would require both its own capacity to go bad, and also the capacity of its possessor to, you know – not eat it.

So, not only does chocolate go bad less often than produce like broccoli (much, MUCH less often), but it really doesn’t take much to get off the couch for chocolate. Last night, I summoned the less-than-monumental impetus it took to not only eat chocolate, but also to do so having baked it into something – the former only being slightly easier than the latter.

That being said, I didn’t think it would be so easy to pull off what I did: molten chocolate cake. Having watched the movie “Chef” with Jon Favreau (“with” as in starring, not viewing alongside), I thought this dessert was more than simply undercooked chocolate cake – though perhaps that’s in fact the case at fine dining establishments. Thankfully, the version in Everyday Food’s “Great Food Fast” cookbook is actually that simple. It’s posted online, and I followed along quite willingly (though loosely, halving the measurements with reckless eyeballing), so I’ll simply link to the recipe. The only thing I did differently was forget a dusting of confectioners sugar, so the plating wasn’t as “fancy” as it could have been.

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Any excuse I get to use my Le Crueset ramekins, I jump at it. Use a muffin tin for these babies? I don’t think so!

It ended up being delicious and quite rich. By my second helping (three portions, two people…somebody had to do it) I felt like I was starring in my own “Got Milk” commercial. I used 72% cocoa Swiss dark chocolate, so I might play around with a lower percentage chocolate next time, making it a bit less rich; baking them about 30 seconds less, making them a bit more molten, might also be good. That’s just a little bit of tinkering though, as it was honestly very delicious. In fact, my wife Mateja was laid up in bed with a headache, so I woke her up to give her a bite of this treat, and I ended up feeding her every last morsel.

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So this picture actually has food in it, though still uncooked. Risking the whole “eating raw egg thing”, I licked the mixer’s whisk clean immediately after pouring these…or maybe before…
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Cooked, awaiting cooling and upending.
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Taking the cookbook’s advice, I attempted to serve this one right-side up. It makes it appear more molten, but it just didn’t feel right.
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Served with some whipped cream (slightly sweetened), this dessert totally hit the spot.
chocolate molten cake
The final product, the way it’s meant to be served (though you have to imagine sprinkling it with confectionary sugar immediately after this shot, and adding a dollop of whipped cream). Next time I make this, if I decide to take pictures, I’ll make sure to “tease” the molten a bit more. It’s totally there, it just doesn’t ooze out like the movies and commercials might make you expect.

Writing about it now, I’m sad to say that my chocolate molten cake is long gone; I’m even sadder to say that somehow there are still dirty dishes from it. Oh well, that dish-washing motivation is hiding somewhere…though probably not on this couch…but I’d better check anyways…

If I’m ever going to get to those dishes, though, then I’d better wrap up this post now. Until next time – happy cooking!

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