4.13.2013

Luxembourg Palace


In 1622 Marie de Medici, widow of Henri IV (my favorite French king), built the Luxembourg Palace. It is modeled after the Pitti Palace in her native Florence, Italy. As a student, I passed by here every day, and I think it will always hold a special place in my heart. 



4.05.2013

Molten Chocolate Cake


My all-time favorite dessert: moelleux au chocolat at Cafe Marly overlooking the courtyard of the Louvre. There is simply nothing better after a long day of touring the museum than recharging and taking it all in over this delicious chocolate treat and an expresso. When you dip into it, the warm chocolate center oozes onto the plate and the distinctive scent of chocolate fills the air. 

The recipe below is adapted from "Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef." It is absolutely fantastic and not difficult to make. Your dinner guests, on the other hand, will think you are a master chef.  

Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter for the recipe and a bit more to butter the molds
  • 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
  • 2 eggs - whole
  • 2 egg - yolks only
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour, plus more for dusting

  • Method:
  • 1. In the top of a double-boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. While that's heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick.
  • 2. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter; it should be quite warm. Pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.
  • 3. Butter and lightly flour four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. Tap out the excess flour, then butter and flour them again. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.)
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake the molds on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set.
  • 5. Invert each mold onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Remove from the mold by carefully lifting up one corner. The cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately.