In my study of food science and human nutrition, we learned that the foundation of a healthy life is a nutritious diet. A nutritious diet provides the body with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, a balance of adequate nutrients, fiber and energy, calorie control, and moderation. For me, and I suspect for many other folks, the key factor here is moderation.
Take for example, my weakness, which are desserts. True confession, I could be the poster child for the Jacques Torres expression, “Life is short, eat dessert first.” Not just sugary sweet things, but sinfully rich, gooey and sensuous, chocolate type desserts. My rationalization: because we entertain frequently and I write this column, I need to test chocolate desserts, seeking ones that are easy to prepare.
The recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake is from my archives, and a classic way to end (or start!) a festive meal. The batter, a combination of melted chocolate, butter, confectioners sugar and eggs, becomes exotic when flavored with Vietnamese or Mexican cinnamon. For maximum health benefits, chose anti-oxidant rich, dark chocolate.
Torres, the French master pastry chef known as “Mr. Chocolate” , recognizes our innate cravings for chocolate is his beautiful and delicious creations. Fortunately, nutritionally speaking, chocolate is something we all should enjoy in moderation.
Molten Chocolate Cake
- 4 ounces chocolate semi-sweet or bittersweet
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon red wine or Gran Marnier or 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon try with Mexican or Vietnamese cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter 6– ¾ cup (or larger) ramekins and set on a cookie tray.
- In a large glass bowl, melt the butter and chocolate slowly in the microwave. Or use a double boiler on top of the stove. Whisk until chocolate is dissolved.
- Whisk in the sugar, wine and vanilla extract. Beat the eggs slightly in another bowl and then whisk into the mixture.
- Stir in the flour and cinnamon.
- Pour into the prepared ramekins.
- Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes…until the sides are set but the center is still soft…be careful not to over bake!
- Remove from oven and let set one minute.
- Run a knife around the edges to loosen and then invert onto individual plates.
- Serve topped with yogurt or unsweetened whipped cream.