Tag Archives: ice cream

Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

I was too busy eating these lava cakes on Valentine’s Day and forgot to blog them.  Chocolate lava cakes, while so luscious and rich, are deceptively simple.  The “lava” is really just uncooked batter, pooling in the center.  I could kick myself for not blogging these earlier because lava cakes are also a perfect date recipe — if you’re cooking a dinner at home, the batter can be made earlier in the day and spooned into a muffin pan.  At just eight minutes cooking time, you can pop these in the oven while clearing the dishes from dinner, and voila! amazing rich delicious hot chocolate cakes.  While lots of lava cake recipes generally suggest serving it with a raspberry sauce, I took a twist on that and decided to just stick a couple of whole raspberries in the center of each cake.  Feel free to omit if you just want the oozy chocolate.  I also added cognac to my batter to give it a warm kick — raspberries, chocolate and cognac are my idea of a perfect combination.  You can serve it with some fresh whipped cream, or even ice cream.  (Mr. Kitchen will put ice cream on just about anything.)
Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Cognac Raspberry Chocolate Lava Cakes

Adapted from a Paula Deen Recipe
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Cognac
1/2 cup raspberries, rinsed (optional)
Butter a medium sized muffin pan and preheat the oven to 425°.
In a double boiler, melt the butter and add chocolate.  (For a makeshift double boiler, put a heatproof bowl in a simmering pot of water — it’s better to have the bowl touching the water than the bowl touching the sides of the pot.) As the chocolate begins to melt, remove the bowl from the water.  Continue mixing the chocolate and butter until perfectly smooth and fully incorporated.  Add the cognac and vanilla and mix together.  In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and egg yolks, and then add the sugar.  Mix into the chocolate.  Stir in the flour until smooth.
If you’re using the raspberries, spoon a tablespoon of the batter into each muffin space in the pan (assuming 12).  Put two whole raspberries into each muffin space, taking care to keep the raspberries in the center.  Spoon remaining mixture into each space.  Bake for 8-10 minutes on the center rack of the oven.  Cakes are done when the sides are set and the top is no longer runny.  Top with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, fresh whipped cream, ice cream or nothing at all!

OMG Chocolate

Isolating yolks for the cognac raspberry chocolate lava cakes

Isolating yolks for the Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Mixing in the flour for the Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Mixing in the flour for the Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Pouring the batter for the Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Pouring the batter for the Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes

Cognac Chocolate Raspberry Lava Cakes


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Christmas Bread Pudding

Things have been super busy in Casa del Kitchen as we get ready for the holidays.  If you’re like us and you spend your holidays traveling and not hosting, the lead-up gets spent in frenetic travel preparation.  There’s been lots of shopping, wrapping, late work nights to get everything done before year’s end, and this week, we’re traveling to see family for the holidays.  Sadly, it’s also one of the times of year where I find myself not cooking much.  We’ve been subsisting on quick meals and take-out over the last two weeks, and I’m definitely ready for some fabulous home cooked treats.  Lucky for us, we’ll be seeing both our families over the next few weeks, and we’ll likely be stuffed to the gills for the next month!  I did, however, recently find time to make this delicious apple walnut raisin bread pudding, which I think would make a tasty addition to any holiday spread.  It’s also a great recipe to make ahead — just reheat in the oven during dinner, and serve warm with some fresh whipped cream (or, if you’re an ice cream lover like Mr. Kitchen, a scoop of vanilla).

On a separate note, Mr. Kitchen and I exchanged our gifts today and he got me a super kick-ass netbook so I hope to be posting more regularly!

apple walnut raisin bread pudding
Apple Walnut Raisin Bread Pudding

Apple Walnut Raisin Bread Pudding

1 loaf Challah Bread (cubed and crusts removed)

3 apples, diced

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

6 eggs

1 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350º

Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and put the bread cubes in the pan and roast in the oven until lightly browned (about 10-15 minutes).  Remove from oven and let cool, and then put the bread into a buttered 13 x 9 baking dish.  Leave the oven on.

In a medium sauce pan, cook the apples, butter and sugar until the apples are a bit soft (about 5 minutes).   Pour the apple mixture over the bread cubes in the baking dish.  Add raisins and walnuts to pan and gently toss to mix apples, bread, walnuts and raisins together.

In a mixing bowl, beat the brown sugar, heavy cream, milk and spices together.  Add eggs one at a team and beat together.  Add cornstarch and beat for 2-3 minutes until fully incorporated.

Pour the custard over the bread mixture and let set for 20-30 minutes, until the bread soaks up the liquid a bit.  Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for about one hour, or until golden brown and the bread offers a bit of resistance in the middle from a gentle touch.

Diced apples for the apple walnut raisin bread pudding

Diced apples for the apple walnut raisin bread pudding

Apples mixed with the bread cubes

Apples mixed with the bread cubes

Letting the custard soak into the apple raisin walnut bread pudding

Letting the custard soak into the apple raisin walnut bread pudding

Baked Apple Raisin Walnut Bread Pudding

Baked Apple Raisin Walnut Bread Pudding

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The Everything Good Cookie — Love at First Bite

Mr. Kitchen and I may be hazy about the first meal I ever made for him, but we’re definitely in agreement on the first thing I baked for him:  Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  I made these shortly after Mr. Kitchen and I first started dating.   These beautiful drop cookies are also known in our household as The Everything Good Cookie because they are a mixture of everything heavenly on Earth — peanut butter, steel cut oats, chunks of semi-sweet chocolate and sometimes, when I’m feeling frisky — walnuts or pecans.  Mr. Kitchen swore he heard the Seraphim after eating just one bite.  I knew I had him then.   I don’t bake them all that often — their yummy potency can be overwhelming (for the waistline) but when Mr. Kitchen has done something super awesome, I break out the recipe.   (Oh who am I kidding — I bake these when I’m PMSing too.)  I can’t remember where I saw the basis for this recipe, which I’m sure was a peanut butter cookie, but I just kept adding things until the dough literally couldn’t take anymore ingredients without totally falling apart.

I also think these are the perfect fall cookie and, maybe it’s a result of the super hot summer we’ve had in New York this year, but I’ve been craving the fall like nobody else.  I’ve taken to cooking those stick-to-your ribs type casseroles too in the irrational hopes that it will bring a change in the season.  (More on those next time.)  This is what happens to me in August in New York.  I go a little batty.  August also makes me want to buy school supplies, even though I’ve been out of school for nearly a decade.  Go figure.

Now, like I said — this recipe — the force is strong with this one.  Use sparingly, unless you want yourself a stalker.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 12 fairly large cookies

3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (steel cut oats)

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 stick salted butter (softened)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tbsp vanilla

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 large egg

Approx 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks (the amount really depends on how much you like chocolate)

* Optional — 3/8 cup nuts (walnuts work well)

In a food processor (or a blender), pulse 1/2 cup oats.  In a large bowl, mix together whole oats, ground oats, flour, baking powder and baking soda.  In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy, then add vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix well.  Add egg and beat well.  Add in flour mixture and beat well.  Add in chocolate chunks and nuts (if adding) and gently mix together.  Chill cookie dough at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325º  Drop large spoonfuls (think the size of a medium meatball) of cookie mix onto foiled cookie sheet (ungreased is fine) and gently press down on cookies to flatten slightly.  Cookies should be placed 1.5-2″ apart if possible.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  **I’ve found that these cookies are best when just the bottom is golden brown.

These are amazing fresh out of the oven with a scoopful of vanilla ice cream on top.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The peanut butter mixture gooeyness

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The dough -- try to resist eating this raw!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Drop the dough, flatten slightly

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