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Choco Lot

25 Feb

chocolate

What’s that?  You say that you want more chocolate?

If that Chocolate Souffle didn’t satisfy your dark cravings, try this Molten Chocolate Magic.  Personally, I’m looking for an excuse to make this.  Does Saturday count as a special occasion?

Molten Chocolate Magic

Adapted from “Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef” by Mark Bittman and Jean-Georges Vongerichten

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more to butter the molds
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour, plus more for dusting

In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. While that’s heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick.

Beat together the melted chocolate and butter; it should be quite warm. Pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.

Butter and lightly flour four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. Tap out the excess flour, then butter and flour them again. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake the molds on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set.

Invert each mold onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the mold; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately.

Table for Two

23 Feb

HVD Dinner & Dessert

From the looks of my blog stats, we all had the same idea about making a special Valentine’s Day dinner.  Those scallops from Jacques Pepin got even more traffic than usual on the 14th.  Luckily, that is a recipe that you can pull together at the last minute. And from the look of Wegman’s Saturday afternoon, there was a lot of last minute happening.  Even I was not immune to lastminuteitis and found myself standing at the seafood counter for scallops.  But I had another, equally easy, recipe in mind for them…no offense to Jacques, of course. Continue reading

HVD

12 Feb

valentine-hearts-3

The ultimate Hallmark Holiday is nearly upon us.  Why not whip up a little happiness courtesy of The Minimalist’s Chocolate Souffle?  The souffle doesn’t care if you are alone on Valentine’s Day and savoring its chocolaty goodness all by yourself or if you’re sharing it with someone special.  C’mon, desserts don’t discriminate.  Remember the black and white cookie from Seinfeld?  “Look to the cookie”.

Me, I like to look AT the cookies, and souffles, and tarts, and all sorts of treats.  And I especially like to gobble them down.  But if you happen to be around when I make this, I will most likely share some with you.  You might have to shoot me with one of Cupid’s arrows to get my hands off the spoon though…just so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Oh, and if chocolate doesn’t happen to be your thing (as if), Mr. Bittman has kindly shared a non chocolate, Simple Souffle.

Chocolate Souffle

Mark Bittman – The New York Times

About 1 tablespoon butter for dish
1/3 cup sugar, plus some for dish
3 eggs, separated
2 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, melted
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 2-cup or one 4-cup soufflé or other deep baking dish(es). Sprinkle each with sugar, invert it and tap to remove excess sugar.

Beat egg yolks with all but 1 tablespoon sugar until very light and very thick; mixture will fall in a ribbon from beaters when it is ready. Mix in the melted chocolate until well combined; set aside.

Wash beaters well, then beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until whites hold soft peaks; continue to beat, gradually adding remaining tablespoon sugar, until they are very stiff and glossy. Stir a good spoonful of whites thoroughly into egg yolk mixture to lighten it; then fold in remaining whites, using a rubber spatula. Transfer to prepared soufflé dish(es); at this point you can cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.

Bake until center is nearly set, 20 minutes for individual soufflés and 25 to 35 minutes for a single large soufflé. Serve immediately.

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