Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sinfully Decadent


I love chocolate. Typically in its original form. Wait...scratch that, because its original form would actually be the cocoa bean which in itself is not so tasty. What I love is the processed cocoa bean, the one that's preferably had some milk and sugar added to it to make it melt-in-your-mouth edible. I'm not a snob when it comes to chocolate. I certainly enjoy slowly savouring over a piece of the high-end stuff that's bound to set your pocketbook back a few paces, but I can just as easily satisfy a quick craving with some relatively cheap stuff as well. I mean, the world is a better place with the likes of Hershey's, Nestle and Cadbury. I've even been known to dip into my chocolate chip stock during in very desperate situations.

Despite my love affair with chocolate, however, I've never been particular fond of chocolate desserts. It's not to say I won't eat it if someone served me up a slice of chocolate cake, or a cup of chocolate mousse, but I often find myself straying away from the chocolate path when I'm skimming a dessert menu. However, I've been having thoughts of warm chocolate cake on my mind for the last few days, and so naturally, I caved and whipped up some of these little Black Forest Molten Cakes.


What I got in the end was a superbly rich, sinfully decadent chocolate cake with a warm, oozy centre filled with cherry goodness. The recipe comes together easily and the use of ingredients is fairly adaptable. I used Lindt chocolate with 85% cocoa content, and frozen bing cherries versus fresh pitted sour cherries as suggested in the recipe. Served with some softly whipped cream, it went well with a hot cup of organic peppermint tea, which helps cut down a bit of the richness of the cake.

I can certainly attest to the power of its decadence. I couldn't finish the cake on my own, thus I had some leftover cake to polish off this afternoon. However, this cake is surely a must for any true chocoholic!

Black Forest Molten Cake
Adapted from Anna Olson's Sugar, Food Network Canada
Makes 4

For the cherry filling
1 cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup sugar **
1 tbsp Kirsch (optional)

For the cake
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup softened butter, plus more for greasing
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Simmer cherries with 1/3 cup sugar for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool before stirring in the Kirsch.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease four 6-oz ramekins and coat with sugar.

Melt the chocolate over a pot of simmering water.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.

Spoon batter into the prepared ramekins about halfway. Place a generous spoonful of cherries in the centre of each ramekin and fill the rest of the ramekins to the top.

Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and tip out onto a plate. Serve immediately with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

**Note** You may find that you'll need more sugar if you are using sour cherries. Measure according to your own tastes.


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