Sunday, January 24, 2010

Individual Chocolate Desserts

While looking for a dessert for the students' ProStart competition, I came across this recipe in the 365 Dish a Day cookbook. I was excited to try it because it reminded me of an incredible dessert we had on our honeymoon, and it looked like a fun experiment!
One of the stipulations of the competition is that we have nothing but two butane burners, so we need to create a nice looking dessert without baking or any battery/electric powered gadgets. The kids tried twice on Friday, but it didn't go so well (their first step of eggs and sugar kept looking like paste), so I promised to try it at home this weekend. This fit the bill, although it has a rather strange cooking method. I took pictures of some of the steps to share with the kids, so I decided to put them here, too. I can't even talk about how long it took me to try to put these in the right order on this stupid blogger thing, and one is sideways and I can't figure it out, so here they are anyway !
Individual Chocolate Desserts
with Caramel sauce
(Dessert from 365 Dish a Day)
1/2 cup superfine sugar (I used regular granulated)
3 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
scant 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
3.5 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
Caramel Sauce: (from me)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp milk (or cream, or evaporated milk would work)
a dash of vanilla or rum extract
For the desserts, put sugar and eggs into a heatproof bowl and place over pan of simmering water (here is my "double boiler" just one pot inside of another)--don't let the top bowl or pot touch the simmering water.

Whisk for approximately 10 minutes, and it should be frothy.

Remove the bowl from the heat and fold in the flour and cocoa. Fold in the butter, then the melted chocolate and mix well. (Leave the water simmering on the'll need it later)
Grease 4 small heatproof bowls with butter. Pour the mixture into the bowls . It should be pretty glossy.

Cover the bowls with waxed paper. Top with foil and secure with string.

Place the desserts in a large pan filled with enough simmering water to reach halfway up the sides of the bowls. Steam for about 40 minutes (more like an hour for mine!!) or until cooked through. (yeah, you don't want to pull them early because if they're not done you won't want to rewrap them up! If they aren't done, stick them in a 350 oven instead to finish them off!)

About 10 minutes before cooking time is over, begin your caramel sauce.
Mix sugar with the flour in a pan over medium heat and mix well. Add your water in and stir the whole time you cook. (7 minutes or so?). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla or rum extract.

When the cakes are finish, turn them out onto a serving plates and pour the sauce over them. The book suggests to decorate with coffee beans (they also suggest a chocolate sauce with Kahlua in it). This is extremely rich chocolate cake and I think one per every two people would be plenty!
If you decide to try this, let me know! It was definitely a fun experiment!..and totally worth it, it was very good!

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