As I alluded to two weeks ago, I went on a cruise last week for spring break. (The biscotti traveled beautifully, by the way. Eating it kept me awake since I drove the whole way myself.)
The cruise itself consisted of an amusing combination of college students seeking to stay drunk for the duration of the trip, families trying to entertain rowdy children, and retirees attempting to make dents in their hefty retirement savings.
I fancied myself an observer, although I cannot deny my obvious association with the former group. I remember everything about our trip, though, which is more than I can say for most of the spring breakers.
I also had the opportunity to serve as a food tester and reviewer for the benefit of my vegan friend. I identified questionable ingredients to ensure that she maintained her vegan purity, and I generously described foods that she couldn’t actually consume.
Cruise food, in case you’re wondering, will lead to hypertension when consumed in large quantities. There was so much salt I began wondering if the chefs rinsed everything in sea water. Also, nearly all of the baked goods came from boxed mixes, which my tastebuds can detect almost instantly.
One of the best desserts on the cruise was a molten cake. Unfortunately, I made my own right before the trip, so I knew what potential a cake can possess when it is made individually, left under-baked and topped with vanilla ice cream. The cruise version paled in comparison.
I made these with my friend who has a wheat allergy (my friends have quite a diverse set of palates and dietary needs), but these cakes don’t have to be gluten-free. Still trying to work out how to make them vegan, though…
Recipe from here. Yum.
Gluten-Free (or not) Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
Large pinch of sea salt
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon flour (or gluten-free flour–we used Bisquick gluten-free baking mix)
1) Preheat the oven to 450. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double broiler (I create my own double broiler by putting a metal bowl over a boiling pot of water, making sure that the hot water doesn’t actually touch the base of the bowl) or melt everything in the microwave. Add sea salt.
2) Meanwhile, beat together the egg, egg yolks, and sugar with a whisk or an electric beater until light and slightly foamy.
3) Add the egg mixture to the warm chocolate; whisk quickly to combine. Add flour and stir just to combine. The batter will be quite thick.
4) Butter small ramekins and divide the batter evenly among the ramekins.
5) Bake for about 7 minutes if you want a little cake and a lot of lava. Bake for longer if you want the opposite.
6) To serve, place a plate on top of the ramekin and flip. Then place another plate on what is actually the bottom of the cake and flip again. Melt a little more chocolate to drizzle on top, or add hot fudge sauce. Serve with ice cream.