Monday, August 22, 2005

Chocolate Molten Cake...serious devil's food

I blame it on the euphoria i experienced from purchasing those cookbooks over the weekend that induced my desire to bake. Not just any cake, but I had to choose this particular cake which is known to be rather hard to perfect. I am honestly not a big fan of baking. After going through some traumatic foul-ups with baking in school (2 years of Home Economics in secondary school) i have sort of decided that i do not have the necessary patience nor skills to bake well. To me, i think the key to baking is to know your oven very very well and to be very precise and understand the fundamentals of all the ingredients within a cake, pastry or souffle for instance.

Looking at Delia's Melting Chocolate Pudding recipe, it looked really simple and i was confident that it would work. I decided to bake on Saturday evening after making my Chicken Cacciatore. I was proved otherwise...8 pudding cups, 8 tries, 8 failures! Imagine my devastation! However, what truely overwhelmed my frustration was the BIG craving for that chocolate cake that was not satisfied.....yet! After a long & tiring search on Epicurious, an awesome website of recipes featured in Bon Appetite and Gourmet from the US, i decided on a different recipe with different proportions of chocolate and butter as compared to the one from Delia. And it worked out beautifully!!

Molten Chocolate Cakes with Ice Cream


150g chocolate, break into small pieces (i used Chocolate Dark Couverture bought from Phoon Huat, Singapore)
50g butter
1 tbsp brandy
2 eggs
2 yolks
5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp flour

Melt butter and chocolate in small saucepan suspended over hot water. When mixture is all melted, stir in brandy. Do not stir chocolate over flame, you only need the steam from the hot water to melt the chocolate. Leave aside to cool.
You will need 5 small pudding tins, preferably non-stick ones, about 4oz in volume each. Grease them with butter and sprinkle with sugar all around. The reason for the sugar is to ensure the cakes slide right out of the tins without needing to use a knife to scrap the sides for fear it might poke the cake and break it apart. Using a cake mixer or hand held whisk (on medium high speed), mix eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla essence till very thick ribbon falls when beater/s are lifted, about 5-6min. Colour should be off white.
Turn mixer speed to lowest and spoon in chocolate gradually till evenly mixed. Chocolate mixture must be cool before adding into egg mixture. You do not want your egg mixture being cooked by the chocolate. Then add in the flour and mix evenly. Do not over whisk.
Turn off mixer, using a flat wooden spoon, gently fold the mixture (3 folds) esp at the bottom to ensure mixture is even. Do not stir mixture, you will break the air pockets that makes the cake really soft and light.
Pour the mixture into tins. Do not use a spoon to spoon in mixture, again, it will break the mixture's air pockets apart.
Place tins with mixtures in the fridge and chill for minimum 1 hour before baking. Mixtures can be made day before and stored in fridge till you are ready to bake for your party the next day.
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and depending on how big your oven is, middle shelf is ideal for big ovens, bottom shelf if you oven is a small one (about the size of the Tefal with the element at the top).
Allow mixture to sit in room temperature for about 5-10min before baking.
The recipe said to bake for 15 min but because previously after 8 tries and i realised that my oven is really hot, I decided to cut down the timing to 9 min.
After 9 min, i used a toothpick to check the cake. The edges should be cooked (using toothpick poke about 1-2cm off the edge; toothpick should come out clean) and the center should still be runny, moist and springy when you wiggle it.
Allow cake to rest for 2-3 min before turning cake over on a plate.
Serve it with ice cream...the combination is awesome!

this is a very delicate cake to make but its simply delicious when you get it right. You and your guests will go weak in the knees savouring the cake! If you dont bake often and you do not know how hot your oven gets, my advice is to bake the cakes one at a time and then fine tune the timing as you go along. Use the same temperature, for this cake, the only variable that you need to alter is the timing. I find the recipe in Delia's How to Cook is not suitable for my kept cooking the cake right through for some strange reason. It could also be the type of chocolate i used at first, the Hershey's dark chocolate was what i used at first try.

Good Luck!


Blogger Me said...

WOW! Thanks for the recipe - it worked! It was really, really DOUBLE DELICIOUS! I don't know how I ever lived without it!
We used up all of our chocolate storage, but it was worth it!

4:04 PM  
Blogger s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

4:37 AM  

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