Monday, January 7, 2008

Chocolate Lava Cake

I have always been amazed by the CHOCOLATE cake, the one that has silky chocolate fudge oozing from the insides....yum.... This type of chocolate cake appears to be a staple of most western food restaurants/cafes, as a result, I find that I usually order this when I see it on the dessert menu.

I've wondered how the cake is done. Recently, I did a research and found that there are 2 ways to cooking this cake: (a) bake it quickly at high heat to cook the outsides only; (b) insert a chocolate truffle/ganache in the centre. To my delight, the ever-reliable Delia has a recipe for this. It seemed easy enough with the help of a mixer and did not require additional ingredients that my pantry didn't have. The only problem was I did not have suitable pudding basins to bake these delectable cakes in. This was solved when I saw suitable pudding basins which were within my budget at Sun Lik last week.

With the last obstacle cleared, I set out to bake the cakes soon after the purchase of basins. Sadly, I overbaked them, failing to take into account that my pudding basins were smaller than the ones prescribed by Delia. Nevertheless, it more than passed as a chocolatey sponge.

The next day, I tried again. This time success smiled upon me - the shells were thin and there was lots of fudge oozing from within..... I also tried a variation: put Marks and Spencers' "Cherry Liquers" into the centre, turning it into a pseudo black forest chocolate pudding. I passed this variation to Mum - she liked it, but still preferred the log from Wuthering Heights.

Hubby was delighted at the second attempt without the M&S "Cherry Liquers" and promptly pronounced it as his favourite chocolate cake. He has repeatedly requested for this cake subsequently and even asked me to bake it for CNY reunion dinner in Malaysia!

Today is my 3rd attempt baking it...upon the request of my dearest Hubby and my lovely
Brother who wishes to see the cakes...

YY, here are some pics for your drooling viewing pleasure...

Prior to baking

After baking, before unmoulding

Sitting pretty in a plate saying "Eat Me"

Alice passed by and poked the cake...

Alice gave into temptation and ate it....

Alice's verdict: although the chocolate sponge was light, there was not enough chocolate fudge oozing from the cake (guess I overbaked it slightly). Nevertheless, it was chocolate intensity - Alice flew to heaven. Luckily, Alice did not grow upwards, but wasn't sure if she had grown sideways instead.....

Calla's notes on the recipe:
  • I omitted the brandy - it doesn't appear to affect the taste of the cake.
  • It's done when the top looks cooked - when you shake the mould, the mixture does not quiver. The cake also shrinks from the side of the mould.
  • I remembered baking it for about 5 - 6 minutes on my 2nd attempt. However, I forgot if the top and bottom heat were switched on. I will experiment again.
I have leftover batter from today's baking session - will try them at the revised time and cooking method and post an update about the results....stay tuned!

Update on 9 January 2008

I turned on the top and bottom heat and baked for about 6 minutes. The results were good! Please refer to this post for the pictures.

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