Chocolate Lava Cakes

IMG_2944I love chocolate cake, especially when it is soft and gooey inside. For my early Christmas dinner I decided to bake some Chocolate Lava Cakes! They were delicious!

These cakes will cook really quickly and will grow like a soufflé but, after removing from the oven, it will reduce a little (like the last soufflé I did…).

 

Chocolate Lava Cakes (serves 4)

  • 100 g of butter
  • 150 g of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 small or medium eggs
  • 60 g of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200ºC.
  2. Butter four ramekins (200 ml capacity each) and dust them with white granulated sugar.
  3. Cut the butter and the chocolate into pieces and place it in a small pan or a heatproof bowl. Place this pan/bowl into a large pan with simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter. Stir to help it melt.IMG_2813
  4. In a large bowl mix the egg yolks with the 60g of sugar. Beat well until you get a light yellow mixture.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and butter to the egg yolks and mix well.
  6. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they get thick. Add a tbsp of sugar and whisk again until you get a stiff peaks.IMG_2821
  7. Gently incorporate the egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula, being careful not to whisk or stir this dough much.IMG_2822
  8. Pour the mixture into the ramekins and cook in the oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The cakes will grow and will have a nice cooked layer on top.
  9. Remove from the oven carefully, since the ramekins will be quite hot, and serve sprinkled with some icing sugar and red berries.

Pheasant with Mulled Wine on Cavolo Nero with Chestnuts and Bacon

IMG_2915Yes, I’m still alive and cooking…

These last months were a bit crazy! In November we had a non stop of visits from family and friends and in December we were planning our moving to London. Quite exciting and stressful!

To restart my blog writing, I decided to post the recipe I used for my early Christmas dinner with my husband. Since we spend Christmas apart with each of our families, we always have an early Christmas of our own!

This year I cooked pheasant breasts rapped in bacon with a mulled wine reduction, laid on some cavolo nero (kale), served with chestnuts and bacon. Yummmm! The chestnuts are a nightmare to peel… but really worth the hassle!

Pheasant with Mulled Wine on Cavolo Nero with Chestnuts and Bacon (serves 4)

Pheasant with Mulled Wine on Cavolo Nero:

  • 4 pheasant breasts
  • 4 strips of smoked bacon
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • salt and dried thyme
  • 250 ml of mulled wine (or port wine)
  • 8 leaves of cavolo nero

Chestnuts and Bacon:

  • 32 chestnuts
  • 2 strips of smoked bacon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and salt
  1. Wash the chestnuts well and, with a sharp knife, make a small cut in each chestnut. Put the chestnuts in a pan and cover with boiling water seasoned with salt, cinnamon and grounded nutmeg. Boil for approximately 20 minutes. Let it rest for an additional 10 minutes.IMG_2747
  2. Peel the chestnuts being careful in order to keep them as whole as possible. Save them to cook later.
  3. Pre-heat the oven at 200ºC.
  4. Clean the pheasant breasts of any fat. Wrap each breast in a strip of bacon. Place in an oven tray and season with salt, chopped garlic and thyme.IMG_2796
  5. Cook the pheasant in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
  6. After this period, pour the mulled wine on top of the pheasant, reduce the oven heat to 180ºC, and let it cook for an additional 15 minutes.IMG_2833
  7. Meanwhile, cut the remaining two strips of bacon into small pieces and slice the additional garlic clove. Cook in a non-stick frying pan, in low fire, until the bacon is cooked and becomes crispy. Add the chestnuts and let it cook. The chestnuts will absorb part of the bacon fat. Season with pepper and salt (if needed). IMG_2859
  8. Wash the cavolo nero leaves well and cook in boiled salted water for 15 minutes. Check if it is as tender as you want it to be.IMG_2836
  9. Meanwhile, remove the pheasant from the oven. Pour the existing sauce in a non-stick frying pan and let it cook until the sauce starts to thicken a bit. IMG_2860
  10. Serve in four dishes by placing two leaves of cavolo nero on one side of each dish. Cut each pheasant breast into thick slices (3 to 4) and place the slices in line, on top of the cavolo nero, as if you are reconstructing each breast. Pour some sauce on top of the pheasant. Complete with the chestnuts and bacon on the side. IMG_2903