Besides the hearty soup and well balance bowl we've had the past two posts, it seems my diet lately has consisted of more treats than usual. I feel so cliche even saying that, as I would love to tell you I prefer carrot sticks to cookies, but I do not, especially in December. Likely story, I know. I have tried pickles, coffee, brushing my teeth, desperate seances and what not, but sometimes the need for something sweet comes with a fury. By fury, I mean a need for baby chocolate peppermint molten cakes. They are so much easier to make than I expected, and a personal dessert makes a guest, and you, feel special. I am catering a dinner party for twenty this Friday, and after testing these for four, it will be just as easy to do for twenty. Borrowing 16 additonal ramekins is the difficult part. If I am going to make a decadent dessert, it will be worth it. By using organic eggs and butter, and the best quality chocolate you can find, your end result tastes as wonderful as the ingredients you used.
Hugh and I watched Food Inc. last week and I thought it was very well done. I tend to take everything I hear on the subject of the corporate food industry for face value, so am glad I had Hugh to remind me of the art of persuasion. Sure, it is a movie made by one side of the issue, but the material encourages the viewer to buy locally, visit farmers markets, cook at home, plant a small garden and stay away from processed foods. I don't care how literally you take it, but the call to action is unanimously postive. I wish my garden grew molten cakes, then everyone would be happy.
CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MOLTEN CAKES
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
5 oz. High Quality Bittersweet Chocolate (Valrhona or Scharfenberger)
2 Large Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
1/4 Cup Natural Cane Sugar
2 tsp. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tsp. Peppermint Extract
Pinch of Salt
Candy Cane for Garnish
Oven at 450'
1. Set a glass bowl over a pot of gently boiling water (double broiler). Break up the the chocolate, and add it and the butter into the glass bowl. While the mixture is melting, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together in another bowl until light and thick.
2. When chocolate is almost completly melted remove from the heat, stir to release some heat as it should be quite warm. Slowly pour in the eggs, peppermint extract, pinch of salt and then quickly beat in the flour until just combined.
3. Butter and flour four 4-ounce ramekins, tap out excess flour. Pour the chocolate mix evenly amongst the ramekins. At this point, you can keep them in the fridge for several hours, and simply bring them to room temperature before baking. Otherwise, bake them on a baking sheet for 6 to 7 minutes MAX, centers will be soft. Allow to sit for 3 minutes.
4. Invert the ramekin onto a plate, let them sit about 10 seconds and give the bottom a little tap, then lift. Sprinkle with candy cane, serve immediately. Accompany with unsweetened whipped cream or ice cream if desired.