I should have known better.....


But sometimes I just don't trust myself.

How many times have you read directions and thought to yourself, "Self, this isn't going to work" but totally disregarded your gut instinct and followed the directions verbatim?

The Warm Chocolate Cakes with Mascarpone Cream featured in July 2009 edition of Food & Wine touted the decadent individual treats as Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg's rendition of a Black Forest cake and said nothing about the chocolate treasures having the liquidy inside consistency of a molten chocolate lava cake (of course, the term "warm" in the title should have given me a clue. Oh, and the baking directions do indicate the center will be "slightly jiggly" but who reads that stuff?) Even the photograph showed the cakes turned out of the ramekin and served "right side up" which is usually not typical of the molten lava type cakes. And the baking time of 15 minutes....well, that should have been my next clue that the cake innards would be as hot as molten lava itself. Surely a critically acclaimed culinary magazine featuring a recipe from a classically trained chef knows more than a dumb ole girl who pays good money to be blonde.

But noooooo! Even though I knew better, I followed the baking and cooling instructions spot on and tried to unmold my cakes right-side up per the photo. And just as my gut was telling me NOT to do it that way, words spewed forth from my volcanically erupting mouth while the hotter-than-the-hinges-of-Hell molten chocolate lava splashed forth.

Not realizing these were in fact lava cakes, I had planned to make these cakes the day before a dinner party with the intentions of storing them overnight so it worked out well that I left them in the ramekins. I refrigerated them overnight and they set up to a fudge-like consistency and were just as delicious as what they would have been right out of the oven warm. If you are a chocoholic, I definitely recommend these because they were so very rich ~ I couldn't finish my portion. The mascarpone cream was very tasty and I topped the cakes with some Black Cherry Cognac Sauce by Stonewall Kitchen. It's one of my all-time favorite ice cream toppings and worked perfectly for these uber rich cakes. Next time, I'll follow my gut. And my gut is telling you to try these cakes the next time you need an easy but impressive dessert!


Warm Chocolate Cakes with Mascarpone Cream
by Hosea Rosenberg
Food & Wine, July 2009
Serves 6

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, plus shavings for garnish (optional)
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup mascarpone (8 ounces)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
About 1/2 cup brandied cherries or kirsch-soaked sour cherries

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat six 6-ounce ramekins with butter, and dust lightly with flour. Set the ramekins on a sturdy baking sheet. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter; let cool.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate, then fold in the cake flour just until no streaks remain.
Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 15 minutes, until the cakes have risen, the tops are dry and the centers are slightly jiggly. Let stand for 5 minutes.
In a bowl, beat the cream with the vanilla seeds, brown sugar and lemon zest until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and lemon juice and beat until blended.
Run the tip of a small knife around each cake to loosen it, then unmold onto plates. Spoon the mascarpone cream onto the cakes and garnish with the brandied cherries and chocolate shavings

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