Do you know what I’m intrigued by? Extreme couponing. Have you watched one of those shows? Honestly, I didn’t believe there was such a thing. I thought this show was invented to keep us super glued to our TVs. I mean, what self-respecting individual DOESN’T love excess?
– Excess and redemption. It keeps us glued and watching.
I laughed hysterically at one lady who stored like 2 full shelves of Pantene shampoo. “Who the hell does that?” I said, shaking my head and chuckling as I descended the stairs to my basement; the basement where I keep no less than 80 rolls of toilet paper.
Toilet paper stockpiling aside I thought the show was bullshit. What are you stockpiling for? Extreme Couponing in my mind was just one step away from hoarder (I’m such a hypocrite).
Then I saw someone do it for real, real. And I kind of understand the appeal. Now I want in on that, mostly because it seems like fun. Kind of like Supermarket Sweep, where you present pieces of paper and go
Yeah… I see Extreme Couponing in my future. Why?
Because, I dunno…
No – It’s because I want 3,421 bottles of shampoo and toilet paper to build myself a fort, that’s why. And I want to present my coupons to a cashier like a royal flush at a casino.
Do you know what else I’m intrigued by?
Molten chocolate cakes.
That was a bad segue, but I don’t care – Flow with me.
I love the surprise center situations I create – LOVE.THEM.
For a couple of months I toyed with the idea of a banana caramel center situation. I thought about it, I dreamed about it, I added it to my editorial calendar. It never happened.
Why? – Because fillings inside molten chocolate cakes has been done. That’s it – I’m not doing it no mo’.
And when I say no mo’ I really mean until I come up with a whole ‘nother way to fill a molten chocolate cake.
Today’s molten chocolate cake is a play in texture. You bake a simple chocolate cake, leaving that situation in a melty state. As the cake cools slightly, melt a good chunk of dulce de leche, adding sliced bananas and walnuts to that jammy. Stir and stir until the walnuts are coated with dulce de leche and the bananas soften slightly.
Invert the molten chocolate cake onto a plate and top it with that delicious banana walnut caramel. As much as you want – It makes enough for 5 molten cakes.
Oh, and did I mention – without counting prep time – This all happens in the span of 15 minutes?
These cakes are decadent and luscious. Melted chocolate and dulce de leche linger on your tongue and the play on textures is like sin in your mouth.
I should hope so.
- For the ramekins
- 5, 4oz ramekins
- Unsalted butter, melted - 1 Tablespoon
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1 Tablespoon
- All-purpose flour - 1 Tablespoon
- For the molten chocolate cake
- Unsalted butter - 4 Ounces (1 stick)
- 5 ½ ounces - Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Large eggs - 2
- Egg yolks - 2
- Granulated sugar - 2 Ounces
- Pinch of salt
- Vanilla extract - 1 ½ teaspoons
- All-purpose flour - 1 ounce
- For the banana dulce de leche walnut topping
- Dulce de leche - 1/2 cup
- Chopped walnuts - 1/2 cup
- 1 Small ripe banana, sliced
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Heavy cream - 2 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 375°Fahrenheit. Butter 4, 4 oz ramekins and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Move the ramekin around to distribute the cocoa powder evenly. Tap out the excess cocoa powder and place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate:
Place a metal bowl over a sauce pan with simmering water. Add the butter and the chocolate, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
Make the cake:
In a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt at high speed until very thickened, about 2 minutes. What you’re looking for are pale, thick egg yolks. Whisk in the chocolate/butter until completely smooth and then stir in vanilla extract. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
Spoon the cake batter into the prepared ramekins. Leave about 1/4 inch space so the cake doesn’t spill over upon rising. Bake the cake for 10-12 minutes. The cake should have raised much like a soufflé. The sides should be firm; the very center should be soft. Make the topping while the cakes have about 3-4 minutes left in the oven.
Make the topping:
In a medium pan over low/medium heat, melt the dulce de leche slightly. Add the walnuts and vanilla extract and allow the dulce de leche to melt and bubble slightly. Add the sliced bananas and heavy cream. Stir quickly, making sure the walnuts and bananas are completely coated with the dulce de leche. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let stand for about 2 minutes. Gently run the tip of a knife around the ramekin to help loosen the cake, and then invert each cake onto a dessert plate. Unmold and top with the banana walnut dulce de leche. Serve immediately.
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