Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh, Heaven!

Hello, friends! It's time for another episode of Gerb Uses A Million Pictures To Show Us How She Cooks Something Tasty.

Today's recipe?

Warm Chocolate Cakes from Communal Restaurant. Except that I prefer to call them Warm Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes From Heaven. And can I add: how awesome is a restaurant that shares their recipes? I haven't had the chance to eat here yet, mostly because every time I've tried to go (the gap between lunch and dinner and Monday evening) they're closed.

But, hey, Communal! I love you forever for letting me make these cakes at home. You seriously rock!

Here we go...

First off it says to melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth. I don't know about you, but I'm a specifics kind of gal. When I went to buy a pound (yeah, baby!) of chocolate I was worried I'd pick the wrong kind. Like, should I get Dove chocolates or Lindt chocolates? Or just go with the stuff in the baking aisle? I decided to just go with what I was used to and purchased two boxes of semi-sweet baking chocolate.

Since the directions didn't specify doing the double-boiler method (and I'm a short-cut kind of gal) I just threw all of the butter and chocolate into a large bowl and microwaved them for 2 minutes. It wasn't all melted, but I let it sit on the counter and continue melting as I stirred the mixture together.

Here it is almost melted...
And all done:
Next it calls for 6 eggs and 6 egg yolks. In case you've never seen 6 eggs in a bowl before, here you go:
I don't have any fancy kitchen tools (you'll learn more about this later) so I just separated my eggs with the back-and-forth into each half of the shell method until all that remained was a yolk, like so:
Save the whites for scrambled egg whites or whatever. Then add the yolks to the other 6 eggs and dump in the sugar.
Then beat...
I wasn't sure if these were beaten enough:
So I read the recipe again. It said to 'beat into a ribbon like consistency'. Honestly? I had no idea what in the world that meant. So I googled it and found this helpful little video: CLICK HERE. I beat them on a high speed for almost 5 minutes before they started to look right:
It sort of ends up looking like cake batter. And then I added the chocolate/butter mixture...
...and beat some more:
Here's what it looked like when it was done:
(In case you're wondering, those are air bubbles in that picture up there, not chunks of whoknowswhat.)

Next comes the flour and cocoa. I hadn't read the recipe closely enough to realize that I needed to actually weigh these two ingredients. What's a girl to do?! I asked for help with equivalents on Facebook and got all sorts of various answers. What I ultimately figured out was that I would have to actually weigh them or it might not turn out right. Lucky for me, a friend saw the whole discussion on Facebook and brought over her kitchen scale for my borrowing pleasure. (Thanks, Rachel!)

May I present for your viewing pleasure... five ounces of flour!
And one and a half ounces of cocoa!

The recipe said to stir these in, so here goes the flour:

And here comes the cocoa...

Once that's all mixed in you scoop the goodness into buttered ramekins. If you're like me, you're saying to yourself, I love the sound of that funky word, but what the heck are ramekins? I'll tell you all about how I came to own some of these sweet little bowlies RIGHT HERE in my post at 4Perspectives today. (Click on over! I'd love to have you!)

Anyhow... butter those ramekins up nice and slick so the cakes will fall out in a perfect little circle when they're done. I let a stick of butter get a little soft and then swished that butter stick around each one until they were good and coated...
Chocolate batter from heaven, meet your new BFFs, my ramekins:
The recipe says it makes 24 and I only used 12 ramekins so I tried to estimate how much to put into each one. I decided that 1/2 cup would be as good a guess as any. Hello, ramekins! I'm chocolatey goodness. Nice to meet you!
Once they were all filled I had to let the batter 'cool at least 2 hours'. I wasn't sure if that meant sit on the counter or put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours so I played it safe and stuck these babies in the fridge.

I took them out about 20 minutes before baking so the batter wouldn't be TOO cool, but I'm not sure if that was necessary. While these morsels were cooking I whipped up some cream. Vanilla ice cream would be the perfect complement, too - but I love me some freshly whipped cream.
Here they are! All done.
I'm pretty sure that my ramekins must be larger than the suggested 4 to 6 ounce ramekins because I could have used all of the batter in my 12 ramekins (I love saying that word!) and the cakes would have filled each one. But I'm not complaining. I have enough batter in my fridge to make about 5 more of these decadent treats and you better believe I'll be baking up a little smackerel for my man and myself after the kids are in bed later this week. (In the comments on the link for the recipe it states that the batter can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.)

These little cakes are seriously amazing. The outside is cakey, the inside is molten chocolate and the whipped cream or ice cream balances out the richness just perfectly.

Coolister loved having them for his seventeenth birthday treat on Monday night...
And there were just enough for everyone. (Meaning: one for everyone else and two for me.)

What are you waiting for? Go make your own little melt-in-your-mouth treats. But keep your windows shut or the neighbors will all want some, too. You'll likely gain weight just by inhaling the rich aroma of these as you pull them out of the oven.



Warm Chocolate Cakes (from Communal Restaurant)

1 lb. butter
1 lb. chocolate
6 egg yolks
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
5 oz. flour
1.5 oz. cocoa

Melt butter and chocolate together and stir until smooth. Beat yolks, eggs and sugar into a ribbon like consistency. Slowly beat chocolate into egg and sugar mixture until smooth. Then slowly stir in flour and cocoa. Do not over mix. Divide into 4 to 6 ounce buttered ramekins and cool at least 2 hours. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Makes 24 cakes.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Counting Down

I haven't been online much this past month. Have you noticed? Life has been so full!


We had our #1 favorite family reunion with Allen's parents & siblings.

We have been invited to TWO family weddings.


Coolister, ElemenoB and Thumbelina went off to do some service projects and then river rafting at Youth Conference for THREE days.

(No official photos yet... they get back today.) photo from griffithexp.com

FOUR princesses accompanied me to the local Princess Festival.


I basked in Girl's Camp for my FIFTH year as a leader.


I enjoyed a lovely backyard tea party with SIX wonderful ladies.


We found out that our sweet aunt Marie returned to heaven SEVEN days ago. Her funeral is today.


EIGHT of my kids slept...

while Princess made a card...

to go with our traditional Father's Day breakfast in bed.


Allen and the oldest two kids ran NINE legs for their team in the 188 mile Ragnar Relay.


And Little O is finally able to wear this shirt that I bought for him almost a year ago. I was worried it wouldn't fit...

...but it does! (This means that number TEN's arrival in '11 will make us a family of TWELVE.)

In short, life is good.

So, so, so wonderfully, happily, crazy-in-the-best-way, marvelously good.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

photo from ning.com

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,
it only saps today of its joy."
~Leo Buscaglia


I'm over at 4P today. I'd be honored to have you come join me!

Chocolate Makes Everything Better

I worry much too much. I know it is not good for me but I just can not help myself sometimes. Some things worry me so much that I turn into a weepy beast which spews words from its mouth before thinking them through. I have no explanation for this behavior, I only know that worry exacerbates my emotions and turns me into an unthinking, unrealistic monster.

A couple of days ago, the worry monster surfaced and my poor family had to suffer her wrath. I promptly ordered myself to take two chocolates and go to bed.

I pulled out the bag of Dove Chocolates with Almonds that were gifted to me at camp last week and unwrapped the first morsel. As is standard, I read the message printed inside the wrapper as I popped the goodness into my mouth:


As it turns out, I didn't need the second chocolate. I only needed the message of the first (and some time to do some research... and some good, solid sleep).

Thank you Susan of New York, NY. You are so right.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Guest Post: Star Wars, Continued

A LONG TIME AGO
IN A GALAXY
FAR, FAR AWAY...


The Rebel Forces have taken over a second base
on the forest moon of Endor. However, the
Empire is not going to give up easily...
even after the death of
Darth Vader.


The Rebel Forces and their allies, the Ewoks, prepare for the impending battle...


Suddenly, the Emperial Forces charge in their walker and speeders.


Chief Chirpa immediately launches a boulder from the catapult.


The boulder meets its target square in the head and it collapses!


One Snow Trooper is shot, but the other three are quickly approaching. Realizing that they can not win this battle alone, the lieutenant calls for reinforcements...


Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and R2-D2 answer the call.


Chewbacca springs into action by knocking another trooper off his speeder.


They engage in hand-to-hand combat and Chewbacca rises triumphant! He runs to take down the others.


R2 helps by hitching a ride and shocking the driver.


The speeder loses control and crash lands with the trooper beneath it.


Meanwhile, Han and Leia have shot down a speeder and are battling the trooper who is hiding behind it. Chewie sneaks up from behind...


...and disarms the trooper as Han and Leia capture him.


The three hop on the abandoned speeders and charge the base.


In the midst of the ongoing battle two Stormtroopers attempt to sneak into the Rebel Base.


They are taken by surprise by Wicket and Paploo and are quickly eliminated. The Ewoks rush to help the others.


Chewie reaches the Emperial base first and bravely jumps from his speeder as it crashes into the enemy.


He stands triumphantly over the wreckage.


The Rebels attack the second walker and quickly win the battle...


Score another one for the power of the Force.





Today's guest post comes to us from All-a-Boy, my precocious 11-year-old. All-a-Boy can usually be found engrossed in his latest book series, reading with expression to his younger siblings or working on passing off scouting requirements. He loves spending time in the outdoors, preferably in a tent or on his bike. All-a-Boy also loves creating new Star Wars adventures with his Legos... and his imagination.