Sunday, December 19, 2010

Molten Chocolate Cakes with Peppermint Whipped Cream

Oh, hello. I'm sure in my absence you've commenced a two-week hunger strike (Franz Kafka style) because you haven't found anything good to eat. But I'm back now after a hellacious two week finals period and am bringing you something festive and tasty, the perfect holiday treat!

I haven't made these cakes in a while and the last time I tried, they over-cooked in the middle so I didn't really have molten cake as much as I had really moist cake. That was at the beginning of the semester, and as the semester closes I'm back to the cake with a vengeance, as my culinary adventure comes full circle.

This cake is the perfect winter treat. Ooey-gooey in the center and perfectly moist on the outside, topped with peppermint whip cream it's really a good way to end a phenomenal meal. The molten cakes are very sentimental to me - I've only made them for some really special people and each time I try my cakes get better and better. It definitely takes practice. But you really have to try it at least once!

Merry Christmas!

Molten Chocolate Cake
now playing: a charlie brown christmas
now drinking: 2005 bordeaux
inspired by: tyler's merry visit

5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brandy
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
large pinch of salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
1.5 candy canes crushed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F

1. Generously butter and flour four 3/4-cup soufflé ramekins. Arrange on baking sheet. Melt chocolate and butter in double bolier until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, espresso powder and salt in medium bowl until very thick ribbons fall when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes.

3. Sift flour over batter; fold in flour. Fold in chocolate mixture until well mixed. Divide batter among dishes, filling completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely; refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.)

4. Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry and tester inserted into center comes out with moist batter still attached, about 15 minutes. Cool cakes 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto plate.

5. While cakes are baking add cream, vanilla, crushed candy canes and sugar into a syphen and shake until mixed. Add nitrous oxide cartridge to aerate and chill instantly. Now, if you don't have these fancy gadgets (which regardless are easily attainable) beat cream, sugar, vanilla and crushed candy canes in a large bowl until firm peaks form. Top cakes with whipped cream and serve warm.


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