Molten Chocolate Babycakes, baked all-together in one dish. Not quite so baby-like.
In Germany in January, it was prohibitively cold. And the shops were all closed on Sundays. We often stayed in, shopping online, baking, eating, and watching Deutschland sucht den Superstar or Ich bin ein Star - Holt mich hier raus! It's quite interesting (and depressing) to discover that all these reality shows are almost exactly the same all over the world.
Chocolate Molten Babycakes
In the first photo we have Nigella Lawson's molten chocolate babycakes, from How to be a Domestic Goddess. The recipe is supposed to serve 6, and I halved the recipe for 2 of us. (The original recipe has 4 eggs, so I couldn't make only a third of the mixture). We baked it in one large dish as we didn't have little ramekins. Beneath the crackly top lay an incredibly gooey chocolate overload. Woah.
We ate it with crème fraîche. It's easily available in Germany, and good quality versions can be bought very cheaply. What a treat! Here in Australia, I have crème fraîche very rarely - not only is it heart-stoppingly unhealthy, but it's also quite a bit more expensive than regular cream or sour cream.
Nigella's Coca-Cola Cake
I have made Nigella's coca-cola cake numerous times before, always as cupcakes. However, I'd just bought a Kaiser 16cm bundt tin, (for a mere 4,99€ at Woolworths!) and really wanted to try it out! I halved the recipe to fill this small tin. My host mother loved it, and the whole family liked the novelty of the cola kuchen.
This tiramisu, from Nigella Express was a surprise hit with my host father. I first made it for New Year's Eve, then again for his birthday, and at his insistent request, once more for a work party he was having. Success!
This is actually Nigella's Cherry Cheesecake, from the Retro Rapido chapter of Nigella Express. It is a biscuit base, covered in a softly set cream-cheese mixture. Unlike most of Nigella's cheesecake, it isn't a baked cheesecake, but a refrigerated one. It is densely creamy, with a soft and smooth texture. However, I would have preferred a higher ratio of biscuit base to filling. I love the biscuit base of cheesecakes! I should also add that our kiwi topping, whilst very pretty, wasn't the best choice. The cheesecake is very soft, you see, and when we sliced through the kiwis, we squished the cheesecake most unattractively. I think that the original topping of cherry conserve would be best, or failing that, any very soft fruit.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
I have made this cake before, but never with much success. It's from How to be a Domestic Goddess, but a similar cake features in Feast, under the name Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake. I've tried that one too, on recommendation from friends, but didn't love it. For some reason, I could never get the icing to be smooth and luscious like in the book (or like Paola's gorgeous version!), and the cake would always turn out dense and dry.
However, at the first bloggers' banquet last year, Vida brought along a sour cream chocolate cake, made with milk chocolate in the icing. It was delicious! So, when we had 4 tubs of sour cream that needed using up, I thought I'd give her version a go. Nigella's recipe says to use 2 20cm sandwich tins for the cake, but I'd bought a baking tray of cute mini-heart shapes at Aldi, as well as a 20cm heart-shaped cake tin, so I used those. I also thought that by making smaller cakes, instead of one mama sandwich cake, we could avoid a chocolate overload! It turned out to be a good move.
I loved the milk chocolate in the icing! As you can probably see, my icing was still a bit grainy, but it tasted fantastic. I suppose practice makes perfect. I'd love to try this cake again, next time there's a celebration, and see if I can get the soft, smooth, swirly peaks that it's supposed to have!