Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes

Less than a week left to upheaving my entire life and moving to Kobe for new teaching experiences, understanding the deeper nuances of Japanese culture (LIKE, WHY THE HELL ARE THEY SO NICE?!) and yes, a form of escapism from the norms and expectations in Singapore. Though one of my greatest fears is not being able to bake in Kobe, their houses are notoriously small and my new apartment doesn’t have an oven. (YET!)

Cakes are not to be neglected in the flurry of packing, meetups and last minute errands. Finally got down to making a simple dream of molten chocolate cake -Pee Poo cake! Or officially, (but where’s the fun in that) – peanut butter chocolate lava cakes! I’d like to think of it as a cake one would cozy up to on a rainy / cold day, with Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series at the side. Nothing like chocolate cake to pair with a great book!

It’s dead simple, but pay attention to the steps. The eggs should be whisked to a thick, pale mixture. To enhance the chocolate flavor, I added ½ a teaspoon of espresso powder instead of the usual vanilla. Finally, a heaping glob of peanut butter in the middle of each ramekin, but I think white chocolate ganache or salted caramels would work great too. I adore Nutella, but skip it cos it’s more chocolate than hazelnut, so there won’t be much of a taste contrast in this cake. 

Finally, it’s a lava cake guys, so err on the side of underbaking to make sure you get the goo factor. Skip the powdered sugar and go straight for the vanilla ice cream! MmmMM HELLO HD’S MACADAMIA NUT BRITTLE 8-) (Sidenote : Is there such a thing as good vegan ice cream? A friend brought a pint of vegan Vanilla ice cream and it tasted just.. wrong – diluted and flavourless…)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Lava Cakes
200g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Cadbury 70% dark)
100gm unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon espresso powder
4 heaping teaspoons of smooth peanut butter
1. Preheat oven to 200° C. Generously butter 4 ramekins. Coat ramekins with sugar and tap out the excess. (This step gives the cakes a sweet outer crust!)
2. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate, espresso powder and butter until smooth–stirring constantly to avoid burning. Let cool.
3. Place the eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk with a hand mixer until thick and pale. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture while whisking until smooth. Gentle fold in the flour.

4. Spoon the mixture into each ramekin. Drop in a generous dollop of peanut butter into each cup and gently press the dollop into the chocolate. Spoon the remaining chocolate batter evenly into each ramekin, using up all the batter. The ramekin should be ¾ full. Place the ramekins in the oven and bake for 16 - 18 minutes until tops appear dry and are slightly puffed. Let cakes rest for about 2 minutes until warm enough to handle and turn out onto a plate for serving and gild the lily with a scoop of ice cream!