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February 05, 2021
Michael tells me stories of going to Nobu’s first European restaurant when it opened in 1997. Set on the first floor of the Metropolitan Hotel in Old Park Lane it felt very modern and progressive. The New York original from 1994 was still designed quaintly old style. His favourite dessert back then was the Bento Box with chocolate molten cake and green tea ice cream.
Nobu soon became the most successful restaurant in the country. On a visit about nine months in, he was presented with a new dessert menu. Shock horror. No more Bento Box. According to the Maître d, the chef had decided to take it off because it was ‘too popular’! I’m not sure how popular the chef was with Mr Nobu and Mr de Niro, but a few months later it was back on the menu.
Molten chocolate cake combines the elements of a chocolate cake and a soufflé. It’s also known as chocolate moelleux (from the French for "soft"), chocolate lava cake, or simply lava cake.
Ingredients:350g dark chocolate120g sugar50g unsalted butter (room temp)50g plain flour4 eggsPinch of salt1 tsp vanilla extract
Method:The cakes need to be baked immediately prior to being eaten, but you can prepare the cakes, put them in the fridge and cook just before it’s time for dessert.
Get 6-8 individual cake moulds (depending on their size), or ramekins. Grease them, and line with a small circular piece of parchment paper just at the base. Preheat oven to 180⁰C fan.
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, then allow to cool a little. Beat the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time, beating in between each, and then the salt and vanilla. Once all is combined, add the flour beating until you have a smooth consistency. Lastly add in the cooled melted chocolate and mix until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the batter equally between the cake moulds (if cooking them later, cover and place in the fridge), otherwise place them on the hot baking tray from the oven and bake for appx. 12 mins, (the refrigerated cakes will need an extra minute or two). They will be ready once the centre has risen to the same height as the outer edges.
Once ready, take out of the oven, tip out onto a plate and serve.
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