Molten lava cakes are elegant desserts, especially if you dust them them with powdered sugar. They are my mom’s favorite. That soft brownie “crust” and then the liquid chocolate in the middle. A couple years ago, I made regular lava cakes for her birthday breakfast. Being the good mom she is, she ate them up with no qualms. Now, I laugh at the absurdity of eating these for breakfast, but thankfully, my mom could care less about nutrition (I guess it was only one morning out of the year) but I still envision this possible conversation:
Friend: Happy Birthday! How’s your morning been?
Mom: Oh, its been great. Breakfast was delicious.
Friend: Oh, I know, nothing like a good meal to start off your day. I had my power packed protein smoothie and egg white omelet. You?
Mom: Molten chocolate lava cakes.
Yeah, lava cakes . . . power packed, right?
Maybe not power packed, but they are unbelievable.
These have rich, melty chocolate. Crunchy peanut butter pretzels. And a Reeses in the middle.
Reeses Pretzel Lava Cake
This version of a lava cake is not as formal, but one of my friends loves pretzels and informal things and I thought of her when I made this up;) Omit the pretzel layer and Reeses for normal lava cake.
Yield: 3 lava cakes
40 grams pretzel sticks twists, crushed
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter
2 oz. semisweet baking squares
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp. flour
Reeses (cup, heart, bunny, it doesn’t matter. Just small enough to fit in the middle of the lava cake.)
Presentation: Powdered sugar and whipped topping (optional)
For the pretzel layer: Melt peanut butter and butter and stir until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Stir in crushed pretzels.
For the lava cake: Melt chocolate and butter and stir until smooth. Stir in powdered sugar. Whisk in egg and egg yolk. Finally, stir in the flour.
Press pretzel mixture in 3 three inch round oven safe ramekins. Divide batter between them and press a Reeses into the middle of each. Spread batter over the Reeses if necessary.
Place on cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 12-14 minutes. Carefully run a butter knife around the edge to loosen. Invert and serve immediately.
We actually didn’t have these for Valentine’s dinner. I made a vanilla cake with peanut butter frosting my mom’s grandmother made for her growing up. I don’t care for cake, but that peanut butter icing was incredible. It was more like caramel and an incredible dip for apples.
For Valentine’s day, Mom gave us a Valentines Basket, with different books and CDs we can borrow from the basket for the next week or two. I chose to read the first of “The Peleg Chronicles,” “The Foundlings” by Matthew Christian Harding. I love books like the Chronicles of Narnia or the Passages Series where they take Biblical stories and place them in a fantasy world. It takes the predictability of Moses parting the Red Sea and recreates it, reminding me of how truly miraculous it was. This is one of those series and this first one is timed after Noah and the flood. There is dragons and paganism (not recommended for young ages) in this post Babel time period, but there is a dwindling group who still believes in God. These are different because they still have the God of the Bible whereas in other series, they create a deity like God, such the Unseen One or Aslan. But like those, this one has excellent analogies and lots of suspense. However, it ends at a cliffhanger! You have to buy the whole series to resolve the plot! I do not like that – at all. Especially when I began the book not knowing it. So I have finished it and the characters are being hunted by deadly creatures and their only help is stuck in the city. Such a satisfying end, you know?
What did you do for Valentines? Now that I’m done ranting about my book, did you have any special traditions or meals?