Melanie's Chocolate Mousse
I recently had the pleasure of attending a local cooking group which is part of a friend's church.  When the invitation came and I saw the title, it took me a mere 2 seconds to reply in the affirmative...as the theme of the event was chocolate!  Now there are many things I could, and have given up at various times in my life; meat, sweets, coca cola and alcohol but chocolate is perhaps the one thing I could never sacrifice.  So I was thrilled to learn that we were going to be sampling not one but six (!!) chocolately delights as well as making a seventh...heaven for a chocoholic.   I quickly volunteered to go along to Melanie's house on Tuesday - all in the name of research for the Pantry of course...the things we do to bring you all great stories and recipes...sigh!

Melanie is a wonderful cook, and she exudes an air or warmth and calm - essential qualities I feel, for success in the kitchen.  She must have been baking, whipping, spooning and painting (yes with chocolate!) all night as when we arrived, the table was laden with treats.  She gave us a great overview of each recipe along with her chocolate tips, where I learnt a lot, like why my melted chocolate turned to sludge the other night (heated too quickly) and what you can do to rescue too-thick chocolate (add a few drops of vegetable oil) - fabulous!!

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Bavarian Mints, Peanut Butter Cups

Half an hour later, and after much sampling and chat we were ready to start the 'lesson' part of the event.  We  gathered in the kitchen [a few were still working their way through their plates!!] while Melanie demonstrated Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes - so easy and perfect for when you want to impress at dinner parties.

PS.  Melanie has given us her superb 'Tips for working with Chocolate' - see Pantry FYI's

Pantry Must Haves
1 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 tspns (NOT TABLESPOONS) of flour
8 extra large foil muffin cases
  • Melt butter and chocolate in medium heat-proof bowl in microwave for 30 seconds at a time.
  • Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves.  Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth.  Beat in flour until just combined.
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450F.  Line a standard sized muffin pan with the muffin cases.  Divide batter evenly among the cases.
  • Bake until batter puffs but center is not set (8-10 mins).  Remove from oven and carefully remove from muffin cases and transfer to a dessert plate.  [Some may break but will still taste amazing].
  • Garnish with fresh raspberries and whipped cream.
NOTE: The batter can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator in the cases/muffin tins.  Just bring to room temperature for about an hour before baking.