Thursday, October 20, 2011

58/99: Chocolate Molten Soufflee and Lava Cakes

When I was going into 11th grade, my parents and I went to New York so that I could get on a plane to go to a conference in Vienna.  The night before I left, my dad and I went to Morton's Steak House to have a goodbye steak dinner. Since the meal was celebratory in nature, we vouched for dessert to compliment our meal.  The choice: Chocolate molten lava cake. We actually had to order the dessert before we ordered the meal so that it could cook while we were eating to be ready in time. It was that special.

The Morton's molten lava cake completely lived up to it's expectations.  I enjoyed every bite of it and ever since then, I have considered chocolate molten lava cake to be only for special occasions.

You can see my excitement around making this cake.

I knew it was on the schedule for this past Monday so I've been talking it up to all my friends for at least a week.  I think I gave everyone a chocolate craving.  I planned to make it on Sunday afternoon but, at the last minute, I drove to Jackson to celebrate my dad's birthday. It actually worked out well because when I got to Jackson, I was able to go to fresh market to get the chocolate! Since the cake was going to be a special one, it seemed appropriate to splurge on chocolate.

But Rose said that I had to use between 60 and 62% chocolate.  If it's under 60% then it won't be thick enough and if it's over 62% it will be too thick.   I stood in front of the rows and rows of chocolate and turned every single one of them over at least twice looking for the right percentages.  There were tons in the 70s and in the 40s.  There was chocolate with pepper and pistachio. But of course there was no 60-62% dark chocolate.  I ended up going to the grocery store and getting the old, boring Ghirardelli chocolate that you can get at wal-mart. Bummer.

On Monday morning, I was ready to get baking.  My mom said there was heavy whipping cream in the freezer so I had thawed it the night before and stuck it in the fridge.  The result: nasty.  It wasn't the right consistency and was definitely a weird color.  I googled and found that it is ok to freeze heavy cream; you just can't expect to make something like a ganache with it. typical. Back to the grocery store. I'll call this trip three since I already went to Fresh Market and then to Kroger.

I made the ganache and stuck it into the egg carton to harden for several hours. Around 1 o'clock (I made it at 8 so it's been at least 5 hours) I checked it and it was still not hard enough.  You could pour it like Hershey's syrup. 

Since I had to head back to Oxford for class, I trashed the ganache and decided to start over.   That meant that I had to go back to the grocery store to get more chocolate in Oxford.  That's trip number 4. I finally made the ganache again on Tuesday night and then finished them yesterday.  They sat overnight in the fridge as recommended and then they were ready for eating today!

The final result: Good but not worth the work or the wait or the anticipation.  I expected Morton's but instead I got Applebees.   I had 5 of my friends try them and we all agreed that they were really good but not exceptional.  Maybe I've just built up the cakes in my mind since the first experience so that nothing can compare. 

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