The occasion was Alb’s birthday. The location was my apartment. The food was gourmet. The attire was sweatpants. The party included 3 best friends eating, drinking wine, and talking about anything and everything. How much better can it get than that? Not much.
Alb is know as Allie to some, Ms. Raney to others, but Alb to my high school girlfriends and I. One day way back in high school one of our friends started calling her Albany. Then we shortened it to Alb and the name stuck like glue. The same thing happened to Melanie, who is now known as Melb. Pretty solid nicknames I think. Jenna wanted in on this as well, but her nickname of “Nab” just didn’t work like the others.
Anyways, Alb wanted a relaxing birthday celebration so I suggested we have a french themed dinner. Really, I wanted Molten lava cake and she likes France so I figured it would be a good combination. She replies with “let’s make chicken piccatta!” Sounds great to me.
We didn’t realize until the day of that chicken piccata is Italian. And we made a brussels sprout salad that is served at the Italian restaurant where I used to work. Whatever. We had a delicious, gourmet, dinner that was yummy food themed. Who needs a theme anyways?
We were a good team in the kitchen and made a really wonderful meal. My favorite part was obviously the lava cake, but the rest tied for 2nd.
Molten Lava Cake
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate (don’t be cheap here-use the good stuff like Ghiradelli’s)
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tbsp. white sugar
- Sprinkle of powdered sugar
You will need some sort of ramekin or large muffin tin to bake this in. Do a good job greasing these with butter so that they slide out smoothly when serving. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Now for the cake. Melt chocolate and butter together in a double-boiler. While it’s melting, start beating your egg yolks together in a medium sized bowl with 1/3 cup of sugar until it’s a pale yellow and fluffy. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer. Add in the vanilla extract and slowly mix in the melted chocolate mixture. Be sure to beat the whole time as you don’t want the eggs to cook!
In a separate large bowl (or your mixer’s bowl) whip the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form. Add in the tablespoon of sugar and whip the mixture until stiff peak forms. With a spatula, slowly fold in the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture until they are blended together. Scoop into your ramekins and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Once they have a few cracks at the top and look baked on top, pull them out of the oven and let them sit for a few minutes. You want a gooey, runny, center so you can’t do the toothpick test on this one. Take a knife around the edges of the mold, and turn it upside down onto a plate to serve. Sift some powdered sugar on top for a beauuutiful dessert!
This makes 5-6 molten cakes, so I just stuck the leftover mixture into the fridge in an airtight container. I pulled it out over the next two days and made fresh desserts. I highly advise this because it is best when warm and gooey 🙂
I had to hold myself back from licking the plate clean.
I think I will plan more dinner parties around this dessert craving, because it turned out pretty nicely if I do say so myself.