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Top Pick Of The Week

February 13, 2007

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Molten Chocolate Cake
It’s just like the molten chocolate cakes from fine restaurants, except that you can make it at home in less than 20 minutes from beginning to end, thanks to The King’s Cupboard.
WHAT IT IS: Gourmet chocolate cake mixes, including a molten chocolate cake mix, a.k.a. molten lava chocolate cake or chocolate volcano cake.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: The cake mixes are made from very fine chocolate—The King’s Cupboard specializes in gourmet chocolate products (read our review of their wonderful chocolate dessert sauces).
WHY WE LOVE IT: The Molten Chocolate Cakes turn us into talented pastry chefs; the rest of the line is better than we’d get from most bakeries. And, “we made it ourselves.”
WHERE TO BUY IT: KingsCupboard.com.


The King’s Cupboard Molten Chocolate Cake: Molten Magic

CAPSULE REPORT: When we have seen “Molten Chocolate Cake” or “Lava Cake” on a dessert menu, we haven’t been able to help ourselves: We order it, even though we should be practicing diversity, with a nod to the occasional Meyer lemon tart or green tea mousse. But when we see the words in print—or worse, catch a glimpse of those tempting little dark chocolate cakes, firm and buttery on the outside with a liquid surprise inside, being delivered to a nearby table—we have not been able to resist.

The other desserts on the menu have been getting their chance recently, thanks to the divine Molten Chocolate Cake mixes from The King’s Cupboard. We were skeptical at first, that something usually created by a skilled pastry chef would emerge from a box. But it does, and it’s just as good, even if you have no baking skill. You don’t even need ramekins—a muffin tin will do. The batter can be made in advance and baked all at once or refrigerated and made a few servings at a time, ready in 9 to 11 minutes for romantic nighttime nibbles. In Rich And Dreamy Molten Chocolate Cake or Kona Coffee Molten Chocolate Cake, you can find the magic boxes at your local specialty food store or can order them online. There are other delicious chocolate cake mixes that you can read about in the full review below. The King’s Cupboard also makes terrific chocolate and caramel dessert sauces, a prior Top Pick Of The Week that includes the best sugar-free chocolate sauce on the market. Read the full review below.

More Great Cakes

The Cake Bible Maida Heatter's Great Chocolate Desserts Perfect Cakes
The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. This book has remained in hardcover since its publication in 1988, when it was named “Cookbook of the Year” by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The recipes are classic and the knowledge is thorough: it’s a must-have. Click here for more information or to purchase. Maida Heatter’s Book Of Great Chocolate Desserts, by Maida Heatter. Another classic and a James Beard Award-winner, this book is newly available after being out-of- print for 10 years. Grab a copy and start baking up a chocolate storm. Try the Chocolate Pumpkin Cake before the season is over. Click here for more information or to purchase. Perfect Cakes, by Nick Malgieri. With stellar recipes and a teacher’s approach, Malgieri, a James Beard Award-winner, serves up everyday treats like Sour Cream Coffee Cake and Orange Poppy Seed Cake, and ends with showstoppers like Bûche de Noel and Passion-Fruit Bavarian Cream Cake. The photos tempt you to make them all. Click here for more information or to purchase.

The King’s Cupboard Molten Chocolate Cake: Molten Magic

INDEX OF REVIEW

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MORE TO DISCOVER

The King’s Cupboard Molten Chocolate Cake

What could be more welcome to (a) someone in the midst of throwing a dinner party or (b) a chocoholic than the ability to whip up a glorious-looking, heavenly-tasting chocolate dessert with almost no effort at all? It’s this easy: You microwave butter and the cake mix for two minutes and let the mixture cool for five minutes. Then add four eggs and whisk until blended. You bake for 9 to 11 minutes, and then you’re ready to serve.

NOTE: The King’s Cupboard recommends using pasteurized eggs or egg substitute, because the centers of the cakes won’t be fully cooked and therefore pose a risk of salmonella, no matter how small. We used regular organic eggs (better than the regular supply, but not risk-free). We’re not here to advise you, but to make a decision for ourselves, we called our personal physician and were told that the odds of salmonella were very long. “Even should it happen,” he said, “you are not in a high risk group (young children, the elderly and those weakened by illness) to whom it would represent a danger.” We occasionally consume sunny-side up and soft-boiled eggs, as well as steak tartare—all of which are not recommended by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. We took the risk.

Available in Rich and Dreamy Molten Chocolate Cake or Kona Molten Chocolate Cake, one box makes eight 5-ounce ramekins. If you don’t have ramekins, Pyrex® custard cups or a muffin tin can be substituted. Standard cake pans can be used, but individual sizes are best for this dessert and ramekins have many uses: Now may be the time to invest!

Molten cakes need to be served immediately upon removal from the oven—the cake centers should be runny and “molten,” and like all cooked foods, they will continue to cook (and become less runny) after they leave the heat source. On the convenience side of the equation, the batter can be made up to one week in advance, and you don’t need to make it all at once. Bake two each evening, for yourself and your Significant Chocolate Other. If you like a daily treat, you can jog home from the gym and bake one a day.

Molten Chocolate Cake With Raspberries
Your next decision is how to garnish: What’s your favorite taste pairing with chocolate cake and molten chocolate “sauce?”

The Rich and Dreamy Molten Chocolate Cake was
an NASFT award finalist following its debut in 2006.

 

Mademoiselle de MargauxGarnish with interesting decorations like these Valrhona chocolate twigs from Mademoiselle de Margaux.

Your next decision is how to garnish:

  • Simply, with powdered sugar and/or some whipped cream
  • Fruitily, with strawberries, raspberries or blackberries; or a fan of mango slices for a tropical touch
  • Indulgently, with crème anglaise or ice cream (Häagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream, Reed’s Ginger Ice Cream and Reed’s Green Tea Ginger Ice Cream were especially interesting matches)
  • Glamorously, with candied orange peel, crystallized ginger or dark chocolate “twigs,” like these at the left from Mademoiselle de Margaux, made with Valrhona chocolate

Then, enjoy the cake—and accept the applause.

Back to Index

 

 

Continue To Page 2: Gourmet Cake Mixes

Go To The Article Index Above

 

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ABOUT THE NIBBLE. THE NIBBLE, Great Food Finds™, is an online magazine about specialty foods and the gourmet life. It is the only consumer publication and website that focuses on reviewing the best specialty foods and beverages, in every category. The magazine also covers tabletop items, gourmet housewares, and other areas of interest to people who love fine food.

© Copyright 2004-2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All information contained herein is subject to change at any time without notice. All details must be directly confirmed with manufacturers, service establishments and other third parties. The material in this newsletter may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Lifestyle Direct, Inc.

 



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