sriracha buckwheat molten lava cakes

sriracha buckwheat molten lava cakes

This is probably the craziest yet happiest batch of little things I've baked in a while. My not-so-secret obsession with all things chocolate and Sriracha hit it's peak this week when I decided to travel down the path of mixing them together. Maybe they might get married someday and make a happy couple, one could only hope! 

chocolate and whisk

Until now, I had never baked a lava cake, so I scrounged around for several recipes in my stack of baking cookbooks (that are unpacked yet literally piled against the wall of the living room like the entrance to a some ancient monument.....I'll eventually deal with this soon, hopefully), unfortunately I didn't have a recipe in any of my books (could also be an excuse to get more cookbooks)! I went online and found one that looked pretty easy to prepare and decided to take the plunge down the hole that looked dark and messy yet held a promise of sweet peppery goodness.  

lava cake prep

Buckwheat is by far one of my favorite whole grain flours to work with because it has such a lovely color and flavor. Indian cooking uses a lot of whole grain flours but buckwheat is a flour that I came across after I moved to the US and I love, love it! I've adapted the original lava cake recipe from one of my trusted cooking magazines, 

Saveur

 and substituted the flour with buckwheat among a few other ingredients. 

sriracha buckwheat molten lava cake
sriracha molten lava cakes

Here are a few notes that I made during baking and I wanted to share with you; 

  • I had no heavy cream at home but I did have full fat coconut milk and that worked just fine in preparing the truffles.You can make the truffles ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator, just stick them into the cake batter they day you are ready to bake the cakes. 
  • The cakes will rise during baking and you should remove them while they are still hot after the initial 2 minute cooling process. I removed them from the ramekins even though we didn't eat all of them the same day. The cakes might sink slightly once they are too cool which is why I really like serving them as soon as they are baked straight out of the oven.
  • To store, I ended up wrapping the rest of the cakes (after removing them from the ramekins) with cling film and freezing them for long term storage in an an airtight ziploc bag. Before eating the cakes, instead of thawing, I unwrapped the cling film and microwaved them covered with a microwave-safe lid. It worked great and now I have Sriracha lava cakes on demand. 

Also, if you don't like Sriracha you can leave it out from the cakes and make yourself a whole grain buckwheat lava cake. 

buckwheat sriracha molten lava cakes

sriracha buckwheat molten lava cakes

(

adapted from Saveur

)

yields:

6 cakes

ingredients

2 oz semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk or heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped + additional butter for greasing

1 1/4 ounces buckwheat flour + additional for dusting

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup (2 ounces) raw brown sugar

1 teaspoon madgascar bourbon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

3 large eggs

confectioners sugar for dusting (optional, I did not do this)

1. Heat the coconut milk (or heavy cream) in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat until it just begins to simmer. Remove from the stove and pour it into a heat proof bowl containing the chocolate chips. Whisk until the chocolate melts into a smooth paste. If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, microwave carefully for 10 seconds, just be careful not to burn the chocolate.  Once the chocolate forms a smooth silky sauce, whisk in the sriracha. Over the bowl with cling film and allow it to chill completely for at least 30 minutes. 

2. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator once the chocolate is chilled. Divide into 6 equal parts and mold into small truffles/balls. Place each truffle onto a sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450F. Take 6, six ounce ramekin bowls and grease them with butter and then dust them generously with flour. Place the bowls on a baking sheet/tray and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium sized saucepan, stir until combined. The mixture will resemble a smooth silky sauce. Remove from stove, once completely combined and then cool for about 10 minutes. While the chocolate is cooling, whisk the sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the batter turns pale yellow and fluffy. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Finally, beat in the melted chocolate mixture followed by the flour. Divide half of the batter between the ramekin bowls, then place a truffle in each bowl and cover each bowl with the rest of the remainder batter. Even out the surfaces of each bowl with an offset spatula and bake them for 15 minutes until the cakes are just set (they will rise a little). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes.

5. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the ramekin bowl and immediately invert onto an individual serving plate. Tap gently to release the cake. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Repeat with the rest of the cakes. Serve immediately.

oat bran and yogurt teacakes

Oat bran yogurt teacakes


I've had an amazing time in Charleston, it was everything I expected and so much more. The people are friendly, the city is historic and beautiful, and the food delicious. The beaches are clean and the water warm enough to swim in, I could not have been happier. This trip turned out to be a perfect summer holiday, there are several great places to eat at, some new and some old with each offering a distinct and fun menu. Some of my favorite places on the trip were Butcher and Bee, Saffron and Sermet's. Downtown.
Even as an adult, I still love fireworks and the spectacular show at Charleston did not disappoint. From the city's aquarium, we had an amazing view of the colorful display of lights that filled up the dark skies. Here are some of the photographs of the dazzling fireworks that for some reason always remind me of supernovas and comets.

Fireworks 2
Fireworks
Fireworks and teacake

I have an obsession with all things concerning yogurt, I eat yogurt daily and use it often in cooking. I drink it after my daily workouts in shakes and smoothies as my protein source. A few months ago, I posted a recipe on using Siggi's filmjólk to prepare a saffron and almond drink, over time I got adventurous and started to incorporate this Icelandic drink into several different recipes at home. One reason why I consume and use Siggi's dairy products is because of their company's commitment to using sustainable and eco-friendly practices and the taste is wonderfully tangy. The versatility of their dairy products makes it a useful ingredient to have on hand and just as it did in these oat bran teacakes. These teacakes are delightful and beyond tea or dessert are also great to eat at breakfast. Besides the Icelandic yogurt, there's healthy and delicious oat bran, ground almond meal (with the husk/skin), and some whole-wheat pastry flour. To make it a little more adult (which is completely optional), I added in some reduced red wine for color and created a few swirls. If you do skip the red wine, then skip step#2 and the swirling portion in step#5. 

Lemon Zesting

I can't believe how time flies, this month marks the second year of my blog. When I first began A Brown Table, I wondered if I could keep up with a weekly schedule and the demands of maintaining an active blog. That part is still hard and finding a balance between life and blogging can sometimes be challenging. So much has changed too with this blog, I learned a little bit of CSS, HTML and photography over time and incorporated new ideas and styles with every post. I've made mistakes on this journey and learned from them but every upcoming post makes me excited to share my food, photographs and stories with you. I do hope that you have enjoyed them along the way.

What would a blog birthday be without free gifts and the folks at Siggi's were extremely kind to sponsor a giveaway to celebrate the wonderful two years. The rules for this contest are simple, all you need to do is leave a comment below this post on how you would use Siggi's and visit the Facebook pages and click the like buttons for both A Brown Table and Siggi's. I will randomly select five winners who will receive a free bottle of filmjólk and 4 cups of skyr, via the Rafflecopter widget below (so please sign up through the widget). This contest is only open to residents in the United States (due to shipping reasons, sorry). This contest will run through July 17th and the five winners will have 48 hours to respond, otherwise I will have to select someone else. So hurry up and enter to win and try some delicious Icelandic filmjólk and skyrr from the  folks at Siggi's! Please share this with your friends on Twitter and/or Pinterest!

oat bran and yogurt teacakes

yields: 6 mini bundt cakes

ingredients

2 cups red wine (optional)
1 stick butter, chopped at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unflavored plain non-fat Siggis' filmjólk
neutral cooking oil spray

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and set a wire rack at mid level height.
2. Reduce the wine to 1/4 cup in a thick bottom saucepan on a medium flame. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove and keep aside to cool.
3. Fix the paddle attachment to a stand mixer and cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the lemon extract and lemon zest to the batter and beat for another minute. 
4. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the oat bran, flour, almond meal, baking powder, and baking soda. Add half of the flour mix to the batter and mix for a minute until combined. Pour the filmjólk into the batter with the rest of the flour mix and beat until completely combined.
5. Spray and grease six mini bundt pans with the cooking oil spray. Divide the batter equally among the pans. Add a teaspoon of the reduced wine on top of the batter and each pan and with a clean skewer stir the wine a little in the batter to create random swirl patterns. Place the bundt pans on a baking tray about an inch from each other. Bake the cakes in the preheated oven on the wire rack for 30 minutes until a skewer or knife comes out clean from the center.  Remove the pans and flip the onto a clean plate and allow the cakes to cool inside the bundt pans. After 10 minutes, tap the individual pans carefully to release the cakes. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool to room temperature completely before serving.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial compensation for this product, all opinions stated here are my own.

THIS CONTEST HAS OFFICIALLY ENDED
a Rafflecopter giveaway

avocado dark-chocolate madeleines

Avocado dark-chocolate madeleines

A couple of weekends ago we did something crazy, we went out and bought a power boat. After an endless wait of two weeks (which isn't that long but we are both terribly impatient), the boat was finally delivered to D.C. late last week and of course, we spent every day of the entire weekend taking it out on the Potomac. As a kid, I'd been on the ocean on a few ships and a fishing boat once but this was much different. Fresh waters are so different from the sea and it smells less too which is nice, though I would not mind the ocean one bit! Snoopy is still adjusting and we hope that eventually (more like sooner) we can stop carrying him on and off the boat as he is too scared to make the jump himself and believe me carrying 45lbs on and off a boat after a few days is tiresome! On day one he whined a bit which I assumed to be his getting acclimated to an unfamiliar rocking motion on the boat (while we were docked), however by day two, he barked to say hi to every person that passed by. He enjoys the speed of the boat once it picks up and likes to stretch his head out to sniff the air and catch the wind. Snoopy is still struggling with the existence of some of the wildlife such as the flying herons and the swimming ducks and I think he will soon come to terms with it. He likes to do things at his own pace. Our dog runs our life, house, and now the boat!

boat

I'm curious to learn fishing but for now one license at a time is good, first I need to get my boating license so I can learn to drive. It is interesting to see how the waters get so busy here but I enjoy the people watching part while they boat and kayak their way through. More than anything, I am really looking forward to docking in Old Town Alexandria and eating out at some of the waterfront restaurants. 

Snoopy on the boat

I've been trying to do better this year by consuming a few avocados a week to gain some healthy fat in my diet. Consequently, avocados were bound to make their way into my food and they did just that by occupying a spot in these delicious dark chocolate madeleines. This was my first time baking madeleines as well as using avocados as a butter substitute. Everything turned out delicious and I was excited to use my madeleine baking pan that I found at an antique store in North Carolina a few months back. To stick with theme of using less fat, I sprayed the pan's molds with a light neutral cooking spray oil which worked out perfectly, instead of greasing it the traditional way with butter. Make sure you use a soft and ripe avocado and puree it to complete smoothness to avoid any fibrous textures or clumps of avocado meat. Since the traditional technique to prepare madeleines involves the use of melted butter, I warmed up the avocado puree in a water-bath to help solubilize some of the fat. Another tip while working with the batter, spoon it in and spread it a little to fill the mold, it will rise during baking and puff up well. 

butter-free madelines1

Overall the entire weekend was a set of first firsts for me and each one of these experiences from boating to my baking experiments. I've realized that I am always happy when I bake!

madeline pan and avocado1

avocado dark-chocolate madeleines

yields: 16-18 large madeleines

ingredients

3/4 cup unbleached cake flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe avocado
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a little confectioner's sugar for dusting

1. Place a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. 
2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and keep aside. 
3. Mash and puree the avocado to get a smooth paste (you can use a food processor for this). Seal the puree with cling film in a glass bowl and place the bowl with the puree in a warm-water bath at 70C till use (this helps to melt out some of the fat and make it smoother).
4. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs for 5 minutes on medium speed until light and foamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk for an additional 5 minutes on medium-high speed until thick and creamy. Remove the mixer bowl from the stand mixer. 
5. Sift the flour-cocoa mixture into the whisked eggs and carefully fold the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula using a circular motion. Fold the pre-warmed avocado puree into the batter. 
6. Generously coat a madeleine baking pan with a neutral cooking oil spray. Spoon and spread out the cake batter into the molds. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The madeleines are baked and ready to be removed when the center is firm and springs back when pressed with the fingers. Remove the madeleines from the tray and allow them to cool on a wire rack. You can store them in an airtight container.
7. Before serving, dust the madeleines with a little confectioner's sugar using a sieve.