Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And the winners are….. plus lava cake

First off, a big thank you to everyone who posted a comment for the contest and a big thank you to Coconut Bliss for donating the coupons.  There were some pretty yummerific ideas.  A quick recap:  liz likes to make ice cream cookie sandwiches and roll the sides in flaked coconut, mmmorgan adds berries to straight up vanilla, jeff is a fan of milkshakes, and animal-friendly swirls peanut butter into the softened vanilla.  Yum!  I want it all.  And a bunch of you go for it straight out of the carton which in all honesty is how I eat it most often.  Once one has procured the deliciousness that is Coconut Bliss, it’s near impossible to have the patience to do much more than grab a spoon.

On with the winners….Animal-Friendly in the US and mmmorgans in Canada.  Congratulations!  Email me your address and I’ll get your coupons mailed out asap.

Lastly, I wanted to share one more recipe idea that is a superb accompaniment to a healthy scoop of Coconut Bliss:  lava cake.  In all its ooey gooey glory, who can resist little individual chocolate cakes with an oozy chocolate center?  And these really are pretty darn easy.  I made them in advance for a small dinner party, so I had to microwave them a bit before serving.  I think the reheating may have contributed to my molten chocolate interior being a little more on the thick side.  Just the same, these were out of this world and I offer a few ideas for improvement if you want to give it a try.  This recipe provides enough raspberry sauce to decorate the serving plates, but if you want to have enough to spoon sauce over the cakes, you may want to make a bit more.  I baked my lava cakes in ramekins coated with Earth Balance margarine for easy removal.

Molten Lava Cakes
Yield: 6 cakes
1 recipe for a dozen (vegan) chocolate cupcakes
Molten Chocolate Interior:
1/3 cup plus 1 -2 tablespoons non dairy milk
1/3 cup well chopped chocolate (Newman’s Own Organics, Theo, and Sjaaks are brands I like that use fair trade cocoa from Latin America)
1 teaspoon non hydrogenate margarine such as Earth Balance
Raspberry Sauce:
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

I used 1/3 cup non dairy milk.  When making this again, I will probably try adding an additional tablespoon or two of non dairy milk (as the ingredient list notates) to thin it out a bit.  First, you need to make the molten chocolate interior which is basically a thicker version of a ganache.  Stirring frequently, heat the non dairy milk in a saucepan over medium to medium high heat (but do not let it simmer).  Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate as well as the margarine until melted.  Once the saucepan has cooled a bit, transfer to the freezer to thicken, stirring every 5 - 10 minutes or so until the ganache has the consistency of thick frosting.  At this point, you can use either a pastry bag or a spoon (a little messier) to form slightly flattened chocolate balls a little larger than the size of a cherry.  You may have some ganache left over (just melt gently by microwaving for 30 second intervals and pour on top of finished cakes before serving).  Transfer chocolate centers to a plate lined with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator.  Next up:  prepare cupcake batter.

For the cupcakes, I used Your Basic Chocolate Cupcake recipe from Isa and Terry's amazing Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (Rapunzel makes a great cocoa powder that is both organic and from Latin America).  Make sure you coat your ramekins with some margarine before beginning.  And remove your molten chocolate interiors from the fridge about 5 minutes before finishing the cupcake batter recipe.  Simply fill each ramekin a little less than 3/4 full, then add the flattened ganache ball to each ramekin and spoon a bit of the left over batter on top to cover.  Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes (when I pulled my cakes out, the oven temp had crept up a bit and I let it go for the entire 15 minutes, which I think was a bit too long).  You want the cakes to be firm to the touch, but be wary of over baking or your center won’t be very "molten".  Place ramekins on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes (and loosen edges with a butter knife) before inverting onto a serving plate.

While the cakes are baking, prepare the raspberry sauce.  Simply heat raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the sauce has thickened.  Remove from heat to cool.

To serve, spoon cooled raspberry sauce into a zip lock bag and clip a small amount off a bottom corner.  Pipe onto a plate.  Invert lava cake onto the raspberry sauce and serve with a generous scoop of Coconut Bliss.  Enjoy!