Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Orange Compote

1 large orange, peeled and segmented
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup muscat wine

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease four 2/3-cup individual dessert molds, then coat with the cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. Transfer the molds to a baking sheet.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl, stirring until smooth. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks, using an electric handheld mixer, until thick, pale, and fluffy and doubled in volume. Gently stir the cooled chocolate into the mixture, then fold in the flour.
  4. Divide the batter between the prepared dessert molds, filling them three-quarters full. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes.
  5. To make the orange compote, put the orange segments into a skillet and heat gently, then stir in the sugar and cook gently until the mixture starts to sizzle.
  6. Mix the cornstarch with a little water to a paste, then add with the wine to the oranges and cook until the compote has reduced by half.
  7. Remove the lava cakes from the oven and use a sharp knife to slide around the edge of each dessert mold to release.
  8. Turn out onto four plates and carefully remove the molds. Serve immediately with the orange compote.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chocolat

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Vegan Dessert of Rice Pudding

Ingredients

generous 1/2 cup raisins
5 tbsp dry sherry
1/2 cup short grain rice
3 or 4 strips of pared lemon rind
1 cup rice milk
2 cups soy milk
1 cinnamon stick, about 3in in length, plus 3 more, to decorate
1/2 cup agave syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground almonds
1 tbsp soya margarine
toasted flaked (sliced) almonds, to decorate
chilled orange segments, to serve

Method

  1. Put the raisins and dry sherry in a small pan. Heat gently until warm, then set the pan aside, which will allow the raisins to swell.
  2. Mix the rice, lemon rind and rice milk in a heavy pan and bring the mixture gently to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the lemon rind pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon and discard.
  4. Add the soy milk and the cinnamon stick to the pan, then stir until the rice has absorbed the milk.
  5. Stir in the syrup and salt. Add the ground almonds and soya margarine. Stir until blended.
  6. Drain the raisins and stir into the rice mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  7. Serve in individual bowls, topped with the toasted flaked almonds and orange segments, and decorate with a cinnamon stick.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan Cooking

Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
12 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
5 large eggs
1 cup sugar
7 tablespoons water
mascarpone or whipped cream to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F, with rack in middle. Butter a cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.
  2. Melt chocolate with butter in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. until just smooth, then remove from heat.
  3. Beat together eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until tripled in volume and thick enough to form a ribbon that takes 2 seconds to dissolve when beater is lifted, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or 10 minutes with a handheld.
  4. Heat remaining 2/3 cup sugar and 7 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear, about 2 minutes.
  5. Pour hot syrup into melted chocolate, stirring to combine, then cool 10 minutes.
  6. Add chocolate syrup, a little at a time, to egg mixture, beating at medium speed, and continue to beat until just incorporated, then pour batter into cake pan.
  7. Put cake pan into a roasting pan lined with a kitchen towel, then add enough boiling-hot water to reach about three quarters of the way up side of cake pan. Bake until just set, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Cool cake completely in water bath before unmolding, at least 2 hours.
  9. To serve, run a thin knife around edge of cake pan to loosen if necessary, then invert a flat platter over pan and flip cake onto platter. Carefully peel off parchment. Serve with mascarpone or whipped cream.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

Grilled Avocado with Strawberry and Honey

Ingredients

cooking spray
2 cups hulled strawberries (quartered)
1 Tbsp honey
2 small avocados (halved, pitted)
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint

Method

  1. In a small bowl, gently stir together the strawberries and honey. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally to let the strawberries macerate and release their natural juices.
  2. When the strawberries are ready, preheat the grill on medium high.
  3. Lightly spray each avocado with cooking spray. Place the avocados on the grill with the stem side facing 10 o’clock. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Rotate the avocados so that the stem side is facing 2 o’clock. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the avocado halves to plates with the flesh side up.
  4. Remove the strawberry mixture from the refrigerator. Fold in the mint.
  5. Spoon the strawberry mixture over each avocado half and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: American Heart Association

Tapioca Pudding

Ingredients

3 oz tapioca
2/3 cup sugar
2 oz butter (or margarine)
2 tbsp corn starch
1-1/2 tbsp custard powder
3 egg yolks

Method

  1. Boil tapioca in boiling water under medium heat for about 10 minutes until semi-transparent. Keep stirring. Turn off heat and with lid covered, allow the tapioca to soak for 15 to 20 minutes until fully transparent. Rinse under cold running water and drain.
  2. Mix cornstarch and custard powder with 1/4 cup of water. Add beaten egg yolks and mix well.
  3. Put sugar, butter and 2/3 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add tapioca and stir well. Pour in cornstarch mixture slowly and stir until it boils and thickens.
  4. Spoon the curd to individual ramekins.
  5. Bake the pudding in the oven at 450°F for about 15 minutes or until the surface turns brown.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Hong Kong magazine