Products of 4 am writing endeavours scarcely endure, but due to that evening grande-sized latte here I am anyways, seated typing at my coffee table while listening to the abnormally loud whir of my heater and the sporadic whoosh of a vehicle speeding by on an empty road, wondering if those drivers noticed the warm glow of my living room light spilling through the sheer curtains and out the window, and if they did, if they thought it strange that someone was up so late, or so early. I can feel the comforting softness of the shag rug underneath my toes, I notice a cluster of fresh fingerprints on the glass surface of the coffee table. No, you’re not opening up a tab for YouTube. I’ve reread the previous three sentences five times at this point. I recall that I wanted to title this post “clarity” sometime last week. I wish I could return to that frame of mind.
Words don’t come easy when your mind is hazy. Not the kind of haze you experience seconds after waking up from a deep sleep, but the kind you get when you think too much and draw too many connections and you don’t even remember how you ended up at point B from point A. What was point A again? Sometimes thoughts onboard the abstract train don’t reach their destination and alight with a satisfactory aha! because frankly, life is a funny thing. It’s one part coincidence, one part calculated and other parts much more. From time to time a beam of clarity shines through the mental fog and I can go about my day with purpose. These days, let’s just say I’m looking for that sliver of filtered moonlight.
So before I bore you away from this page, let me tell you what I’ve been up to baking-wise. I was thoroughly into little molten chocolate cakes over Christmas and the New Year’s because of their versatile dinner party dessert/portable gift nature. I tried out mainly two types of recipes, one that creates the oozy centre using a chocolate ganache truffle, and another that simply relies on perfect timing for the same result. I prefer the former type over the latter because of its added richness and flavour versatility, but I’ve included both recipes below.
I changed up the classic dark chocolate ganache recipe for a salted milk chocolate one and a matcha white chocolate one, for the fun of it. Personally, I adored the pairing of the salty-sweet milk chocolate ganache with the bittersweetness of the cake, although I admit the green makes for a more striking color contrast. I also quite like these cakes served at room temperature or chilled – takes the stress off having to eat them while they’re warm too hashtag winter problems.
One more thing – vanilla ice cream is a must.
Chocolate Fondant Recipe #1
makes 8 muffin sized cakes
For the cakes:
112 grams unsalted butter
180 grams bittersweet chocolate
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
50 grams sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
Make the cakes: Prepare 8 tall muffin liners. Melt the butter and chocolate in a microwave and stir until homogenous.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt until pale and fluffy.
Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the flour and cocoa powder. Divide batter amongst the cupcake liners and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 200C. Bake for 10 minutes. Let the cakes cool for a couple minutes before peeling cupcake liners away; serve.
Recipe taken from here with minor modifications.
Chocolate Fondant Recipe #2
makes 6 muffin sized cakes
For the cake batter:
57 grams unsalted butter
142 grams bittersweet chocolate
3 large eggs, at room temperature
60 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the ganache:
(salted milk chocolate version)
70 grams milk chocolate, finely chopped
60 ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
generous pinch of salt
(matcha white chocolate version)
70 grams white chocolate, finely chopped
60 ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon matcha powder
Make the ganache truffles first: The procedures for both versions are very similar. For each version, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer then pour over the chocolate. Alternatively, you could heat the chocolate and cream together in a microwave until the chocolate has almost fully melted.
Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds or so before stirring until the chocolate and cream are combined and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the butter. Lastly, stir in the salt or matcha powder, depending on which version you’re making. Let the ganache cool to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating until firm enough to roll into truffles. The quantity listed above yields 6~7 truffles for each version so keep that in mind as you’re dividing and rolling up the ganache. Set the truffles aside in the fridge as you make the cake batter.
Make the batter: Preheat the oven to 200C. Prepare 6 tall muffin liners.
Microwave the chocolate and butter together until they have melted; stir until the mixture is smooth and shiny. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa powder and flour. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture.
Divide half the batter amongst the muffin liners; drop a truffle in the center of each portion of batter; top with the remaining batter. Bake for roughly 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool off for a few minutes before peeling off the paper liners; consume.
Recipe adapted from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan with slight alterations.