Happy V-Day folks! Whether you are in love or not, you really have to make this one. If you are looking for a special last-minute homemade dessert to impress the man/woman of your life, I think you can safely bet on this molten chocolate cake from Hershey Kitchen. With its molten chocolate centre, this decadent treat oozes love with every bite.

MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Frozen Chocolate

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon powdered instant coffee

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Cake

2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon kitchen salt

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs, room temperature

For the Mocha Cream

1 cup (1/2 pt.) whipping cream

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  • To make the frozen chocolate, place the dark chocolate chips and instant coffee in medium mixing bowl.
  • Stir together cream and corn syrup in medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.

  • Heat till mixture comes to a boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and let mixture stand 30 seconds.
  • Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture in shallow bowl or dish.

  • Cool slightly, then freeze mixture for at least 3 to 4 hours. For the chocolate cake, preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Butter sides and bottom of four (6-oz.) ramekins. Place on baking sheet. Dissolve instant coffee in water.

  • Stir together flour, cocoa and salt; set aside. Beat butter in bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Set aside 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; gradually beat in remaining granulated sugar, vanilla and coffee.

  • Separate egg yolks from whites. One at a time, add yolks to butter mixture, beat well after each addition.
  • In clean bowl, beat egg whites with remaining sugar, gradually increase to high speed till stiff peaks form.

  • Fold cocoa mixture and egg whites into the butter mixture. Spoon about 2/3 cup batter into each ramekin.
  • Place one heaping teaspoon of frozen chocolate mixture in the center of each cake batter-filled ramekins.

  • Spoon about 1/4 cup of remaining cake batter over the frozen chocolate making sure to cover completely.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes until tops have started to crack. While they bake, reheat remaining frozen chocolate.

  • To make mocha cream, Beat cream, powdered sugar, cocoa, instant coffee and vanilla in small mixer bowl.
  • Beat until cream starts to thicken but is still pourable. To serve, carefully invert cakes on large dinner plate.

  • Spoon mocha cream around base of cake; dust with powdered sugar. Garnish with berries/chocolate curls.
  • Serve immediately with a generous drizzle of the warmed chocolate sauce. Makes 4 individual (6-oz.) cakes.

Happy V-Day!

Happy Chinese New Year folks! I think it is fitting to enjoy ene bon ti bol mee-foon during this rather rainy season. This delicious chicken and rice vermicelli soup, derived from traditional Chinese cuisine, is a well loved entrée in many Mauritian households. Packed with as many vegetables as you would care to add, the bouillon is a nutritious start to the heavier calorie-laden dishes to be served for the festivities this Monday. I sincerely hope that the Year of the Monkey brings happiness and prosperity to everyone throughout 2016 and well beyond.

BOUILLON MEE-FOON

Ingredients:

200g thin rice noodles/meefoon

200g chicken breasts, deboned

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1 bunch brede tom pouce

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sweet corn kernels

1/4 cup bamboo shoots

1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms

4 cups warm water

1 cube chicken stock

4 eggs, fried sunny side up

Method:

  • Clean chicken and into medium size cubes. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, chili and oil.

  • Mix well, cover with cling film and leave chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

  • Remove marinated chicken from refrigerator and place in a medium cooking pan. Cover and simmer.

  • Cook over low heat for 15 minutes until chicken is tender and half cooked. Add the carrots and steam.

  • Soak the shiitake mushrooms in boiling water till softened and add to pan. Throw in the corn kernels.

  • Add in the brede tom pouce and bamboo shoots and stir. Dissolve the cube of chicken stock in water.

  • Pour the chicken stock and remaining water over the vegetables and bring to the boil until it thickens.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Scoop into serving bowls and serve with fried egg as topping. Serves 4.

Bouillon Meefoon

From Malika Kallichurn‘s Manzé Lontan, this traditional sugar candy has been a well-loved treat for Mauritians before the advent of chocolate and industrialized sweets. Bheli, from pure sugar cane syrup, could be made in large amounts and stored for months to cater families with several children. On the occasion of the 181th anniversary of Abolition of Slavery in Mauritius, I hereby share with you this forgotten Mauritian candy in all its rustic simplicity.

BHELI

Ingredients:

500ml pure sugar cane syrup

100g toasted peanuts, chopped

50g toasted sesame seeds

Method:

  • Prepare a large baking sheet/pan or metal plate by greasing the surface with a generous amount of butter.

  • Select a large, heavy-based pan or caraille for the preparation of bheli as it needs to cook for almost 1 hour.

  • Pour the sugar cane syrup into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring syrup regularly with a metal spoon.

  • Cook till the syrup thickens and leaves the edges of the pan. It should have reached two-string consistency.

  • Reserve about 1 tablespoon of chopped peanuts and toasted sesame seeds. Add the rest to the cane syrup.

  • Stir vigorously until well combined. Working quickly, drop spoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared pan.

  • The mixture will start to solidify almost immediately. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts and sesame seeds.

  • Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container away from sunlight. Makes about 15 pieces.

Bheli – Traditional Sugar Candy

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