Many years ago I walked the ‘the trip of 12 mountains’ in Sulawesi, the octopus shaped island of Indonesia. I walked it with a Dutch guy and a Toraja, as people from this area of Sulawesi are called. We crossed these mountains with only a small backpack and totally unsuitable shoes.
During this amazing but strenuous trip I experienced a few things for the first time in my life. Like how Toraja people don’t bury their dead in the ground but lay them in high cliff caves. I saw flying foxes and humongous spiders. I ate black rice with sambal for breakfast. I saw mysterious things that when I told people afterwards, they didn’t believe me.
And it was on this amazing island where I saw cacao pods dangling from a tree for the first time in my life.
Almost everyone loves chocolate. And, because the holidays are getting near, I thought I’d share some easy recipes with which you can impress your guests. I will start with my version of the Molten Lava Cake or Chocolate Fondant. Take notice that not every oven is the same. I recommend you try out this recipe before a dinner party and see how many minutes your oven needs to make the perfect melted center of the cakes.
Chili Spiced Molten Lava Cakes
(makes about 12)
67 g melted butter, for brushing
cocoa powder, for dusting
267 g dark chocolate, best quality you can get, chopped into small pieces
267 g butter, chopped into small pieces
267 g golden caster sugar
1 or 2 whole red chili, optional
pinch of cayenne, optional
5 large or 6 medium eggs
5 large or 6 medium eggs yolks
267 g plain flour
Brush the melted butter all over the inside of nine 150 ml ramekins. Place them into the fridge or freezer. Once chilled, brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the ramekins. Ramekins are bowls or dishes that can go into the oven to prepare food.
Slowly melt the chocolate and butter together Au-bain-Marie. Remove bowl from heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
In a second bowl whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until it has a pale color. Sift the flour into the eggs, if using add chili and cayenne and beat together.
Pour melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well after each addition until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter.
Evenly divide the batter between the ramekins. Heat the oven to 200 C.
Place the fondants on a baking tray then cook for 10-13 minutes until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their ramekins. Take out of the oven, and then let them rest for 1 or 2 minutes before turning out.
Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides. Tip each one slightly onto your hand, then tip back into the ramekin, put a plate on top and turn it over.
If you don’t want to make the chili spiced version, just leave the chili and cayenne out. Both versions are great with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.