You might have noticed a build up of this white, bulky winter precipitation that you have to shovel. Snow, I think it's called? (See photo above. Poor bastards. Good thing it rained yesterday.) Some of us got more than others (am I right, Boston and much of CT??) and boredom can start to set in when schools, activities and roads (even the L.I.E.??) are closed down. What to do...
I trekked 40 blocks to a friend's apartment to do a little baking and cooking (and by "trekked" I mean "took the subway" and by "cooking" I mean "drank wine") and ended up making two vastly different desserts as the tween trio on site could not decide on only one. "I want chocolate! I want raspberry!" I tried a compromise but it was met with a resounding, "I hate that. Gross." Whatevs. Hand me a cocktail and I can get three kids to make 2 desserts at the same time.
Somehow we decided on molten chocolate cakes circa 1987 and berry cobbler. Did I neglect to mention that "cookies are boring" and that we had to work from existing ingredients in the kitchen? Totally. (Take that Iron Chef!) In the end it all worked out. I even caught the berry tween eating the molten chocolate cake even though she "hates chocolate cake." And of course it wouldn't be 2013 if we didn't Instagram (@tinanders - holla!) the whole damn thing. (By the way, I made another version of the chocolate cakes here but this is the original recipe.) A real camera is just so 2011.
Adapted from Food & Wine/Jean-Georges Vongerichten
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter and lightly flour four 6-ounce ramekins. Tap out the excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the egg yolks, sugar and salt at high speed until thickened and pale.
3. Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold it into the egg mixture along with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then unmold. Serve immediately.
Make Ahead: The batter can be refrigerated for several hours; bring to room temperature before baking.
Mixed Berry Cobbler
Adapted from the Joy of Cooking and Martha Stewart
For the Filling:
2 pints raspberries and/or blackberries (red, black, or a combination of the two)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the Biscuit Topping:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3/4 heavy cream, plus more for brushing
Sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Mix together the berries and sugar. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish.
2. Make the biscuit topping: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Add the cream, and use a fork to incorporate, stirring just until cream is absorbed (there should be lots of loose pieces).
3. Turn out the dough onto a clean surface, and knead once or twice, gathering loose bits into ball. Pat dough to a 1 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into rounds or squares, or leave whole, and place on top of the filling. Brush with cream, and sprinkle with sugar.
4. Bake the cobbler until bubbling in center and biscuit topping is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 minutes (loosely tent with foil if biscuit topping gets too dark). Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving.