Sunday, February 14, 2010
What Time Is It? Balumtimes!!
Happy holiday everyone. I'm X, currently spending my Valentine's Day drinking the last bottle of Ace Perry Cider in the house and listening to "You Gotta Move" by The Rolling Stones in the kitchen, by myself...
Ahem. What is the best part of this pink and purple holiday? Is it the flowers? Nah, too cheesy. Is it the promise of unconditional forever-love? Nope, turns out that was a lie. Is it the wine? Perhaps.
The real answer, of course, is chocolate. I support any holiday - as hallmarked as Balumtimes may be - that so fully embraces and idolizes what is perhaps my favorite food. My plans for the celebration of chocolate enthusiasm day? Lava cakes. Chocolate molton lava cakes. Take me out for dessert, and I will pick the chocolate cake almost every time. No other dessert provides the concentrated hit of cocoa that only temporary satisfies my almost insatiable craving for the dark stuff. Unfortunately, these restaurant cakes are almost never vegan. Enter the cheaper, more fun option - making your own!
This feat was accomplished by the Beardsmith and myself with a little help from our Oops, It's Vegan! friend Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix. Now, normally I abide by "if you can make it yourself, its gonna be better" rule. I try to avoid overly processed foodlike products and stuff from boxes. HOWEVER. Have you tried this mix? It's like crack. CRACK. And perhaps most amazing of all, the mix contains no animal products! All you need is a nifty and easily conjured replacement for the egg, and you're good to go. We knew that chocolate brownie lava cakes would trump chocolate cake lava cakes. Thus the adventure unfolded.
We carefully coated five ramekins with a little Earth Balance and dusted them with cocoa powder. Next, we melted about two ounces of chocolate chips with a little soymilk - about a tablespoon - to create ganache. This we chilled in the fridge, and whisked every five minutes until it achieved a frosting-like consistency, which took probably twenty minutes or so. Once the ganache reached the desired state, we used our hands to form five marble-sized balls, which we then placed on a plate in the freezer to harden. Our impatience only allowed us to wait another twenty minutes for this step.
In the meantime, we mixed up the brownie batter, adding the water and oil called for on the box, and using a slurry of cornstarch and soymilk for the egg. We poured each ramekin about three-thirds full of batter, then pushed a ball of chocolate into each and covered with the rest of the batter. The cakes were then put in the preheated to 325 degree oven, and baked for about 40 minutes.
The result? Several melty-chocolate filled "cakes" of bliss. I say "cakes" because I'm unsure if these ever really baked. The edges were delightfully chewy. The centers were a complete mess of melted batter and chocolate amazingness. It was exactly what I wanted.
The best part was that I got to embrace all the love in my life by sharing these with my family and friends. Not a bad Balumtimes!