Friday, August 24, 2012

Chocolate & Friday

I woke up yesterday thinking it was Friday.  In case you didn't know, it wasn't.  Yesterday was Thursday.  Today is Friday.  I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about that.  I mean, I did just gain an extra day in my life.  How often does that happen?

I've been really busy with work this week.  The new fall line is coming out in a few weeks and it gets everyone a bit crazy.
{I am definitely in need of this on my second Friday this week.}

I'm kind of a stress baker.  There's something about being stressed at work or personally and getting home and baking something delicious. It takes my mind off whatever I was worried about because I have to concentrate on putting together everything correctly.

And if I'm having a bad day it's nice to pull something delicious out of the oven and have something I did work out right that day.  Plus I love how wonderful my house smells when something's in the oven. 

This is one of the last recipes from our Italian cooking class at La Rusticana D'Orsa. Read more about it here and here.

For dessert we made individual chocolate lava cakes.  This is one of my favorite desserts to order in a restaurant.  And it's such a crowd pleaser, I was surprised to see how easy it is to make.

I would suggest using an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks {I love my kitchen aid!}.  You could use a hand mixer but you'll have to mix it for quite a while.  If you try to beat them by hand I'm fairly certain your arm will fall off.

Chocolate Lava Cake with Orange Mascarpone Cream

 - 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
 - 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
 - cocoa powder for the ramekins
 - 3 large eggs, at room temperature
 - 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
 - 1/2 cup sugar
 - 1/2 cup cake flour

Orange Cream
 - 1/2 heavy cream
 - 1 tbls vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
 - 2 tbls light brown sugar
 - 1/2 tsp orange zest
 - 1 cup mascarpone
 - 1 tsp fresh orange juice
 - 1 oz semisweet chocolate, shaved for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Coat six 6 oz ramekins with butter, and dust lightly with cocoa powder.  

Over a double boiler, melt bittersweet chocolate with the butter stirring often. If you don't have a double boiler, you can use a large pot and heavy heat-proof bowl.  A stainless steel bowl will work as well, but glass distributes the heat better. Let chocolate cool.  Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk (or hand mixer, if you have a lot of time) beat the eggs yolks and sugar on high until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the chocolate into the egg mixture, then fold in the cake flour just until mixed in.  Don't over mix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 15 minutes, until the cakes have risen, the tops are dry and the centers are slightly jiggly.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  You can prepare the batter and ramekins ahead of time and refrigerate.  Just pull out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before you're going to bake them.  Then part way through dinner put them in the oven and you'll have warm chocolate lava cake ready at the end of dinner.

In a bowl, beat the cream with the vanilla, brown sugar, orange zest, until soft peaks form.  Add the mascarpone and orange juice and beat until just blended.  Keep chilled until needed.

Run the tip of a knife around each cake to loosen it, then unmold onto a plate.  Spoon the mascarpone cream on the cake and top with chocolate shavings Serve at once.  You can also serve by placing the ramekins on a pretty dessert plate which makes for a pretty presentation without worrying whether the cake will easily come out of the ramekin.

I'm not a huge fan of orange with chocolate but I've included the recipe for the orange mascarpone cream because it's so easy and such a great foundation recipe.   It would be delicious for brunch served over waffles or pancakes with fresh berries, or on top of hot chocolate.  If you're not a fan of orange and chocolate, you can just leave out the orange zest and juice.  

I prefer serving these instead with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries on top.  I love the combination of warm chocolate over bright red berries.  

See more recipes from Rusticana D'Orsa here and here.
Happy Friday!



  1. I do that all the time. So depressing :( Chocolate cake is the best cure!

  2. I am totally a stress baker too. These sound divine!
    Have a wonderful weekend ahead! x

  3. Ah I am too!!! I did some stress baking at the beach this weekend and boy did it help. :)

    Sounds delish! Hope you had a great weekend xoxo

  4. You are KILLING me with the deliciousness! Holy tasty :)


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