Last year I tested chocolate fondant/molten lava cake recipes as I think only a zealous chocoholic can. I tried them in ramekins (not as fun as opening them up to let the chocolate spill out on a plate), I baked some in a water bath (more pudding-like than cake on the outside), I poked little chunks of chocolate in the middle of some (which felt like cheating, and wasn’t the smooth and rich consistency of molten batter), and I experimented with different chocolate/sugar/flour ratios and minutes in the oven. Luckily I found a favorite before I became a walking molten lava cake myself. The best variation, to my taste, was this one, adapted from a recipe by Aussie chef Curtis Stone (another confessed chocoholic). Baked in a jumbo muffin pan, it uses quality dark bittersweet chocolate, just enough flour to set up without offsetting the rich chocolate goodness, and achieves that gooey molten effect that oozes out at the slightest touch of the spoon. This winning dessert — along with a day spent with my luvbugs and a lovely dinner prepared by my husband — makes for a very happy birthday today!
Maybe it’s in anticipation of The Big Cooking Day next week, but lately I’ve been drawn to fresh and light meals that are easy to prepare. This bright salad combines a spectrum of flavors and colors to please the palate and the eyes. Continue reading