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Thursday, 18 March 2010
“After eating chocolate you feel godlike, as though you can conquer enemies, lead armies, entice lovers.” Emily Luchetti
Another busy day at work, with lots of meetings, many staff coming in to see me (I have an open door policy and try to make time for everyone), writing of official letters, signing papers and certificates, etc, etc. We had some bad news at home with some friends’ family losing the mother to a stroke at age 60 years. Everyone was devastated as she was a kind, good and beautiful person, having a fantastic family and many friends, involved in charity work, and helping whoever asked for her help. Very sad…
To culminate this week’s busy-ness and tenseness I am going for some escapist, feel-good food. A dessert recipe and what’s more, chocolate! I first saw this cake made by a TV chef and then we had the opportunity to try it at a restaurant. A friend recently sent us the recipe, which we still haven’t tried. If you try it out before us, please tell us what it was like:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup hot coffee or water
1 and a 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
Cocoa powder for the tops
Ice cream or custard sauce for serving
These individual chocolate cakes have a soft centre of chocolate fudge that erupts in a rich, dark puddle from the warm cakes. They're best served just out of the oven. For the filling, line a plastic ice cube tray with a large piece of plastic wrap. With your fingers, gently poke the plastic down into eight of the cubes so they are fully lined with plastic.
Melt the chocolate with the cream and corn syrup; whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla extract; set aside to cool until tepid. Fill the eight lined ice cube cups with the chocolate; freeze at least 4 hours, or cover and freeze up to a month.
For the cakes, place rack in centre of the oven and heat to 210 degrees C. Generously butter eight 4-ounce soufflé dishes or ramekins. Place them on a jellyroll pan. Melt the chocolate with the coffee. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract. Cream the butter with 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stop the mixer and stir in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour and salt with a spatula. Beat the egg whites with a clean mixer until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue beating until thick and glossy. Thoroughly mix one quarter of the beaten egg whites into chocolate batter; gently fold in the rest.
Fill each prepared soufflé dish about halfway full with the chocolate batter. Gently bury a frozen chocolate cube in the centre of each; add remaining batter, filling cups almost to the top. Bake until cakes are puffy and set, 18 to 20 minutes. Gently loosen from the sides of the dishes and invert onto serving plates. Sift cocoa over and serve with ice cream.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.