I hope you all had a lovely weekend! It is POURING down rain here in LA this morning, and while my poor husband has to trek to the office, I'm curled up on the couch with my little cats and a cup of coffee. So, in the spirit of gloomy days, I wanted to share with you our Valentine's Day dessert. These "molten chocolate babycakes" are Nigella Lawson's recipe. They are the kind of dessert that everyone should have in their arsenal. You know, the roast didn't quite work, the rolls are a little hard, the wine you picked wasn't exactly right for the dish....in other words, dinner was edible, but not very special. Hit a home run with this dessert which can be made ahead and baked as everyone is sitting around the table after dinner.
When you tip them out of their cute little ramekins, they go all mushy and break, but I actually kind of like it - it lets you know that they are indeed quite molten!
Molten Chocolate Babycakes (Nigella Lawson - How to Be a Domestic Goddess)
1/4 c. soft unsalted butter
12 oz best bittersweet chocolate - I like Valhrona or Ghirardelli
1/2 c. sugar
4 large eggs, bitten with a pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. flour
6 individual 6 oz ramekins buttered (oven safe- obviously)
1. If you aren't making in advance, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the ramekins (she cuts out parchment circles to line the bottoms, but I think if you butter them well, you can skip this step.
2. Melt the chocolate and let it cool a little. I add a small pat of butter, because I melt it in the microwave and I think that helps keep it from burning. Cream the butter and sugar, gradually beating in the eggs and salt, before adding the vanilla.
3. Add the flour. It is going to look a little lumpy, but when you then mix in the still-warm chocolate, it all smooths out. It should be a smooth and shiny batter (with a little stretch from all the eggs).
4. Divide the batter between the six cups. If you are cooking right away, put the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, tip the ramekins out onto plates, and serve with ice cream, whipped cream...berries.
5. If you are preparing the babycakes early, simply cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you bake them, try baking for 15 minutes, since they are coming out of the fridge cold. These also reheat well in the microwave (I don't recommend trying to shrink the recipe, but if you can do it, please email me - I'd love to whip up just one!)
Yesterday we had our first "Prepared Childbirth" class at our hospital. Honestly, I'm not really sure how "prepared" you can really be, since it sounds like a lot of different things happen. That said, it was nice to start getting to know our way around our hospital, and to start learning about some things that can make labor a little more comfortable. I also liked that our instructor was very matter of fact and acknowledged that the process is very painful for most people, so not to be ashamed or feel like a failure if you need pain relief. I was worried she would scare us silly about epidurals! I can't believe we only have about 9 weeks until our sweet little girl gets here - she is so busy inside me (I can tell she's like her daddy and doesn't buy into the guided relaxation bit - she kicked VERY hard during that part of the class)! I also did some good tidying in the nursery...I'll post an updated picture.
Since I'm home all day today, I'll post some of the cats' adventures with the Valentine's flowers and table setting.