Category: recipes

molten lava chocolate cake and awesome mother-in-laws

I called my mother in law last week because she had told me all about this wonderful microwave molten chocolate lava cake and Gabriel was out of town and I needed something to cheer me up (chocolate always does that for me!)

All you need to make it is Chocolate cake mix (and the ingredients to mix it up – in my case it was 3 eggs, quarter cup oil and water, but I don’t know if other box cake mixes will be different) and a can of chocolate icing.

That’s all. My only problem was, I had no icing :( then my lovely mother in law sweeps in to save the day (again!) to tell me that icing is super easy to make, all you need is cocoa powder, butter, powdered sugar and milk…how did I not know this?! It’s probably best because by now I would’ve calculated how to make icing by the cup and be eating it from a spoon daily! My chocolate addiction is no joke people!

When I got the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder box out I discovered they had an icing recipe on the back, so I decided to just follow Hershey’s direction. This icing is no joke people – literally the best icing I think I’ve ever had – waaaaaay better than the canned stuff!

Icing Ingredients
• 1 stick butter
• 2/3 cup cocoa powder
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 1/3 cup milk
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
(Yields 2 cups frosting)

1. Melt butter.
2. Stir in cocoa.
3. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount of additional milk, if needed.
4. Stir in vanilla.

englexas eats blog - molten chocolate lava cake

Once you’ve made the cake batter to the directions, and have (or made) your icing put the cake batter into a large microwaveable bowl (I used a 2qt Pyrex bowl) and then dump the icing into the middle of the cake batter. Put it in the microwave for 8 mins and then let it sit for 4 mins. Then flip over onto a plate.
This part was a little tricky, you might need four arms to accomplish it, but since I was without hubby I stuck with it and eventually got it to come out onto the plate without any serious injury to myself!

It may not be super pretty but is it super yummy!!! The thing about this cake is, it’s not a ‘make ahead’ cake, it is best eaten when it’s still warm and gooey, and even with a scoop of ice cream if your feeling totally indulgent! (mouth watering anyone?!) I would suggest it as a last minute dessert or something you make while your cleaning up from dinner.

Leftovers, let’s talk leftovers. Since I was by myself when I made this cake I ended up with a huge cake sitting on my counter. Now, I am a major chocolate lover but eating just a slice of regular ole room temperature chocolate cake just isn’t my thing, especially when I already know how good this cake is when served hot. My first attempt to reheat it didn’t fare so well, yeah the icing was pretty melty and gooey, but the cake got dried out. It was then that I remembered another little tip that my mother in law gave me (seriously, did I get lucky or what?! she’s at dessert-God status for me right now!!*).

So here is my newest Quick Tip (brought to you by the best bomb-diggity mother in law ever)

When you are reheating anything (or above yummy gooey chocolate deliciousness cake) in the microwave take a coffee filter (!!) and run it under cold water, squeeze it out a little and then place it over the dish you are microwaving, then microwave as you normally would. It’s as easy as that! And guess what? It totally worked! The cake was still soft and the icing melted perfectly – just as good as the first time I made it.
I’ve tried this microwaving method with lasagna (a dish that tends to really dry out in the microwave) and it worked great also.

And now I’m going to go eat another slice of cake!

*this is also the wonderful mother in law that drove in from Tulsa this past weekend so me and my hubby can go away for the weekend! Someone give this woman a raise?! And while you at it please move her here!

pancake day

Yesterday was Pancake Day for our family. I’ve had a lot of questions about what Pancake Day is so I thought I’d give you a little lesson in English Tradition ;)

One of my favorite things about our little family is raising our kids in a multi-cultural way. Gracen is starting to get old enough to understand that I am from a different country, and he tells people he’s “half-English” haha! Pancake Day is one of those traditions that I remember being so excited about as a little kid, it was something that was consistent every year. I even remember a couple of years that we forgot to have pancakes for breakfast and I was so disappointed when I got to school and realized that everyone else had celebrated that morning – and then there were the times that they would do a pancake making demonstration at school to teach us about Pancake Day…this is a big deal people!

So…what is Pancake Day?
Pancake Day is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent, it is also known as Shrove Tuesday. It is a tradition on this day to eat pancakes.

When is Pancake Day?
Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and is therefore the final day before the commencement of Lent, a Christian festival leading up to Easter Sunday.

Why are Pancakes eaten on Shrove Tuesday?
Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent. The date varies from year to year and falls between 3 February and 9 March.

What is an English Pancake?
A pancake is a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a pan. It is a lot similar to a crepe. It is usually spread with filling and rolled up.

What are typical fillings?
The most common filling for English Pancakes is Caster sugar sprinkled over the top and a dash of fresh lemon juice added – in France this is called “Crepe Suzette”. Another popular choice is Nutella, chocolate chips and even whipped cream. Golden syrup or jam are another choice.

Pancakes are actually a great breakfast for any day – super quick and easy to make. Here is the recipe:

1/2 c. plain flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs
6 fl oz milk mixed
4 T. butter

Preparation method
englexas food blog - english pancakes day
Mix the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Then begin whisking in the eggs, incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

englexas food blog - english pancakes day
Next gradually add small quantities of the milk, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth. Now melt the butter in a pan. Spoon 2T of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it in small quantities to coat the pan.

englexas food blog - English Pancakes Day
Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter, I find 3T is about right. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, roll it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter.

englexas food blog - English Pancakes Day
It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a minute – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate. Before putting more batter in the pan add about 1t of the melted butter to the pan.

Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper or paper towels on a plate to keep them warm while you make the rest.

englexas food blog - English Pancakes Day
englexas food  English Pancakes Day
To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar and roll them up.

englexas food blog - English Pancakes Day recipe

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