Saturday, February 14, 2009

C'est La V-Day

So, here it is. Valentine’s Day. Since the dawn of 1 February I’ve been debating the merits of a Valentine’s Day blog post. I guess because I’m one of those people that debates the merits of Valentine’s Day. Yes, I’m one of those people. When I’m with someone on Valentine’s Day I always enjoy whatever we do together, though I can never shake the feeling that it’s somehow cheapened by societally-imposed expectations, and when I’m alone, well, Hallmark does a great job of hitting that one home as well. I mean, I’m all for sharing a day together with the one you love, basking in each other’s doleful eyes, spoon-feeding each other from your respective overly priced desserts across a candlelit table and all that crap. But, I mean, why do we need to SET ASIDE a day for that? Shouldn’t we be doing this already??

But I digress.

I am doing a Valentine’s Day blog post because I have decided that it would be a disservice to have a blog devoted to baking and not participate in one of the few days devoted to all things sweet and sugary. I am also doing a Valentine’s Day post because it allows me to daydream once more about my one true love…France. On my last trip to Paris a friend and I got to spend an amazing three hours drinking wine and learning to make pastries from a French chef. The next time you are in Paris, I cannot recommend these classes highly enough. We even got to keep the recipes for all of our creations and I thought this would be the perfect occasion to break out the one for Moelleux au Chocolat. This literally translates to “Chocolate Softness.” Amazing, I know. Basically, they are individual chocolate lava cakes. In class we made them with (stick with me here) a banana-avocado sauce. Which I know sounds gross but really only tastes like banana and provides a striking green splash across the dark chocolate cakes—incredible. But, for the sake of St. Valentine, I thought I would try amending this to a pink strawberry banana sauce instead. Enjoy!

Moelleux au Chocolat
5 oz light brown sugar (2/3 cup)
5 oz butter (1 stick and 2 Tbs)
5 oz dark chocolate (70%)
6 eggs, beaten
2 oz flour (1/4 cup)
1 oz softened butter for the molds

  1. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a casserole dish over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl.
  3. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and add the eggs, mix well and add the flour/sugar mixture, stirring to combine.
  4. Pour the batter into buttered aluminum molds (the Reynolds ramekin-sized ones) and allow to chill for 1-2 hours.
  5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Strawberry Banana Sauce
Strawberries (about 1/2 pint)
1 ripe banana
2 Tbs sugar
Juice of ½ an orange
Juice of ½ a lemon

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix well, refrigerate until ready to use.
For the avocado banana sauce, simply substitute 1 ripe avocado for the strawberries.

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