After having regular checkups at the Orthodontist in the past 2 years, J’s finally ready to be fitted with braces. With that, we need to have a think about our meals with her new requirements in mind.
Soft foods, easy to eat. No super crunchy or hard to chew things that will risk breaking the brackets glued to her teeth. This is especially for the few days straight after each 6-8 weekly checkup where they adjust the individual brackets, and when her gums will be a bit swollen.
We talked about the different things we can have in her lunch box, and this easy sponge cake came up in the conversation. Soft and pillowy, this is perfect for her.
This one is a nod to my childhood, where fancy buttercream or fondant cakes weren’t prevalent, with a good sponge cake being the absolute gold standard for all occasions. Specifically, layered sponge cakes dressed up with whipped cream and seasonal fruits (think about all the mango cream sponges and berries and cream cakes!) They are still popular in Hong Kong, and very much part of the food cultural fabric.
To make those cakes you can easily use this recipe and bake it in a normal cake pan, add whipped cream along with seasonal fruits. Easy. We’ve made after-school-snack-portions here with tall moulds, just like the ones in my childhood days, and you can also use other baking tins, just find something that is quite tall and deep. Perfect lunch box item – sans cream of course!
- 55g unsalted butter, melted (Lewis Road Creamery)
- 60ml milk
- 100g low gluten flour
- 5 eggs (size 7)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 80g caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Separate egg yolks and whites into 2 separate bowls.
- In a large bowl, place melted butter and milk together, whisk lightly.
- Add sifted flour, vanilla extract and egg yolks to the butter mixture. Mix well, ensuring there are no lumps.
- Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, whisk egg whites till foamy and add in cream of tartar. Continue whisking, then slowly rain in the sugar. Whisk until the whites form stiff peaks.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg whites into the flour batter to loosen up the mixture. Fold in 1/3 of the beaten whites into the batter, then the second third and then the last of the whites.
- Pour into lined cake tins, only filling 2/3s of the pan (it will rise quite a lot) and bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack and keep in an air tight container.
J didn’t believe me when I said “Come see gooey chocolate oozing out of these cakes”. Although only six years old, she’d seen a fair few chocolate cakes being cut into and was fairly certain that nothing normally oozes out. Not even from an ice cream cake.
I insisted and together we gathered around the little wobbly bobs of chocolate fondants, with a sharp knife and steady hands I sliced into the centre of the dainty little cakes.
“ooooOOOUUUUU” was the reaction I wanted, and got (phew!!) 🙂
“It’s coming out! Just like lava!” J looked at me, incredulously.
Yes dear, that’s why they are called Molten Lava Cakes!
I love how these turned out, the beautifully rustic looking cakes held its class. What is the secret, you may ask? Well when a chef shares his tip with you, listen up… Baked bean tins! Simon Gault shared his recipe and I’ve been collecting tins over the last few weeks in order to put this to the test…and so glad I did.
The following is my version with slight tweaks e.g. Oven temperature and time. I also tested with a small 3″ Fat Daddio’s pan but that did not turn out as nice. If you have to make it right now and have not collected tins, you can use small ramekins or dariole moulds with the bottom lined with baking paper. Cooking time will need to be adjusted for a further 3 minutes. Now stop gawking and go make some!!
1/3 cup caster sugar
250g dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa solids)
250g butter, plus extra for buttering the moulds
3 tbsp ﬂour (or almond meal to make this dessert gluten free)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
icing sugar for dusting
- Using an electric beater, whisk the eggs and yolks with the sugar until thick and pale.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double-boiler or in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined and of an even consistency.
- Sift the ﬂour over the mix and fold in until completely incorporated with no lumps. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and place in the refrigerator until ﬁrm.
- Butter 8 baked bean cans, lightly dust with cocoa powder and place on a baking tray with a square of baking paper under each can. Once the mixture is ﬁrm, pipe into the moulds, then refrigerate until set. (Make sure you have cleared some fridge space beforehand to accomodate your baking tray).
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the chocolate puddings for 14 minutes (wooden skewer test will show it is wet). Remove from the oven and, very importantly, allow them to stand for 3 minutes before removing from tins, to avoid cracking. Turn out the puddings onto individual plates by using a sharp knife and go around the sides of the tin. Dust with icing sugar.