Molten Chocolate Cake

You might find this sinfully delicious cake under a number of aliases: Chocolate Molten; Lava Cake; Molten chocolate cake; and Chocolate Lava Cake. This luscious and rich dessert was invented in the 90’s by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. According to world renowned chef/restaurateur (Jean-George was just named restaurant of the year by the James Beard Foundation) he invented the dessert by accident when he under baked a cake.

The cake is surprisingly easy to make and is really versatile. I’ve made it a number of ways using different kinds of fruit; with different kinds of chocolate, sea salt, mint, orange zest; with and without liqueur; with fresh whipped chantilly cream; and ice cream.

Most recently I made one with mint chocolate, fresh strawberries, topped with fresh mint (from my herb garden) and a chantilly cream. The recipe is as followed: Yields around 2-6oz soufflé ramekins, 2 mixing bowls and 1 small sauce pan. In a bain-marie melt 4oz of butter with 4 oz dark chocolate. In a separate mixing bowl mix 2 whole eggs, 2 yolks, 2oz of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Temper egg mixture with the chocolate and fold in 2 teaspoons of flour. Pour batter in butter and cocoa dusted ramekins and chill batter for 1-2 hours. Bake at 400 F until done- edges should be firm and center should be jiggly.

Rest for a few minutes and turn on to a plate, serve with cream, and garnish.

Parlez - vous Anglais

Recently someone asked me why I spend my leisure time in the kitchen and thinking about food. Then another, “what are you hoping to get out of going to culinary school and workshops?” What does it matter I thought.

Everything about food fulfills me; the planning; prepping; the creative expression of plating; incorporating seasonal flavors into dishes; stimulating all of my senses; there’s a beginning and an end to every dish; the ability and confidence to cook something instinctually instead of following a recipe—thank you Chef Pascal; and sitting down to enjoy supper with friends and family.

Like I mentioned in some of my earlier blog entries, and most of you already know-I’ve had a lot of different hobbies and passions in my life. Without blinking an eye I’ll sign up for workshops, go to school, take private lessons- you name it and I will do it if I’m interested in learning about the subject. Eccentric and aimless to some but to me it’s all about learning new things, living life, and having fun.

I went to culinary school for the first time after high school; I’ve bowled professionally and in college; managed bowling centers; learned from the best bowling coaches in the world; drilled bowling balls for national championship bowlers; I’ve had my name published in international and national bowling magazines; I’ve taken sailing and flight lessons; I’ve taken Jiu Jitsu and boxing lessons from people who are internationally known; and over the past couple of years I’ve revisited my passion for the culinary arts.

The 24 week program, Classic Cooking Academy, is, unfortunately, coming to an end. Having learned so much about the fond of French cooking and techniques I’ve decided to continue my education. I’ve reserved a spot in a 2.5 jours desserts des restaurants à l'assiette (plated desserts) workshop at the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris. No, I don’t speak French, I have a hard enough time speaking English, but to experience the French culture and to learn in the great kitchen of the Ritz is worth the challenges.

Maybe one day I’ll write a book, or own a specialty cafe, but no matter what, while I have a chance, I’m going to travel; write; learn; and cook really good food, as much as I can.

Parlez- vous Anglais? Going to France in July—YAY!!!