Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

February 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

This Valentine’s Day, I decided to attempt lava cakes for the first time.  Knowing the gooey goodness that resides inside the decadent chocolate cake, I have always been intimidated by this heavenly concoction.  I decided to take on the challenge and make these little darlings for my little darling.  To my astonishment and delight, this recipe was one of the easiest I have made and given that I think I put in too much chocolate than the recipe called for, it seems fool proof to boot.  Highly recommended!!!!

This recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s blog.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces (squares) Semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
  • ½ cups Butter
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons Flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Butter and cover 4 custard cups with cocoa powder and place on cookie sheet.
  3. Microwave chocolate and butter in two separate bowls until each is melted and then whisk together. (Make sure mixture is not too hot, otherwise you will cook the eggs when you mix them in).
  4. Whisk in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour.
  5. Divide between 4 oven safe ramekins.
  6. Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar. (Note: to make heart shaped sugar design, simply cut out the shape you want on an index card, place on top, and dust on the powdered sugar.)

 

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Pain au Chocolat from Sweet Lady Jane

December 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

If you have ever been to Paris and tasted a freshly baked croissant there, you undoubtedly have pangs of nostalgia and longing for the buttery layers that exude steam when pulled open. The smell and taste that define the very essence of an early morning in Paris. I remember the early morning coffee with croissant that was still warm from the closest bakery to the hotel I was staying in many years ago. The very thought of that first bite, accompanied by a sip of espresso, makes me want to go back for even just a sliver of a second.

Now I live in West Hollywood, which is a little far from one of those magical croissants, but I am luckier than most because I live walking distance from Sweet Lady Jane, a divinely tiny little bakery that serves up gorgeous cakes, cupcakes, and (YES!) freshly baked croissants.

It just so happened that this morning was one of those morning when I was reading this mouthwatering article concerning croissants in Paris by David Lebovitz and I simply needed to have a chocolate croissant. I remembered the proximity of that dangerously delightful venue down the street and resolved that this was a morning that I would have a freshly baked chocolate croissant. It was still early enough that I thought any freshly baked pastries would still have a glimmer of warmth in the middle.

I had never bought a croissant from Sweet Lady Jane’s before — I typically go there for a very special cake or cupcake (because I know how one thing can lead to another and my daily ‘walking’ routine could quickly become a visit to the pastry fairy). Today was the day that I would have a chocolate croissant from Sweet Lady Jane. I knew that if their croissants were anything like their cupcakes, I would at least be the “Parisian chocolate croissant” zip code that would feel somewhat like a mini Paris excursion.

I was totally right — while it is, in my opinion, impossible to replicate the elusive Parisian croissant, it is possible to make an homage to the original. The chocolate croissant from Sweet Lady Jane was delightful and it was ever so slightly warm and the chocolate was gooey and … yes, it was enough to keep me from purchasing a one-way ticket to Paris. For how long, is another question. But I certainly recommend the croissants at Sweet Lady Jane, along with a cup of tea by the window. You will not regret it.

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

April 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

In celebration of the new season of LOST, I made chocolate coconut cupcakes.  These cupcakes require a glass of soy milk (or regular milk) because they are extremely chocolatey and rich.  They are also very moist because of the sour cream that is added to the recipe.  If the sour cream sounds odd and you are having doubts about adding it…. don’t even think about it.  You need to add the sour cream to these because  there is nothing worse than a dry chocolate cupcake!  Nothing!

Ingredients for the cup cakes:

  • 5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose  flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1  1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
  • 1  1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Powdered sugar to thicken

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Put the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl or the top bowl in a double boiler.  Place the bowl over a sauce pan of barley simmering water or over the bottom of a double boiler.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

3.  Using an electric mixer (I love my Kitchen Aid) on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes or until creamy.

4.  Scape the sides of the bowl and add the melted chocolate on low speed.

5.  On medium speed, add the eggs (one at a time).  Make sure each egg is incorporated into the batter before adding the next.

6.  Add the vanilla and blend until creamy, about 1 minute.  Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain.

7.  On low speed, add half of the flour mixture.  Mix just to incorporate it, do ont over mix.  Add in the water and then the remaining flour mixture.

8.  Bake the cupcakes until the tops are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Cool the cupcakes on a metal rack before frosting.

9.  To make the frosting, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the butter has melted.

10.  When the butter has melted and small bubbles begin to form on the surface, remove the pot from the heat.  Add chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Add the vanilla.  Whisk until the sauce is smooth and all of the chocolate has melted.

11.  Let the cool to room temperature.  Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the frosting is at your desired consistency.  Top the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting, sweetened shredded coconut, and a small dollop of the chocolate frosting (on top of the layer of coconut).  If you don’t like coconut, you can top the chocolate frosting with chocolate sprinkles.

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