Molten Chocolate Cake with Pierre Herme's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

We are finally having some really hot weather here for the past week or so, and I am just talking about upper 80s. Sometimes it would reach 90s but probably only a few times. I've been waiting for this all along, this is when I start craving Jamba Juice, Ice Creams, and many more for sadly, this has been the coldest time for me this Summer. While it is soaring 88F outside, it is 60F inside the office! The AC in my hallway has been broken for a week now and the AC has been blasting like crazy. My hands and feet are cold and I am wearing a thick jacket just like in Winter. My neighbor is starting to get sick from the AC blowing straight on her head. My other neighbor showed up with 3 layers of sweater today, it is crazy. We've complained to the facility group but nothing has been done so far. I am planning to bring my portable heater tomorrow. I feel colder now than I am in Winter time.

Putting the uncomfortably cold temperature in my cube aside, let's talk about some chocolate cake and ice cream. I made this during the 4th of July dinner a month ago. I mentioned before that instead of having a BBQ like other people do, I had dinner together with M and J, a friend/our coworker. Since it is for 3 people, sit-down dinner seems to be more appropriate, especially that M is now allergic to steak (go figure). Long story short, I made caprese crostini, pesto pasta, sliced steak, and molten chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream.

One of the things I love about making molten chocolate cake is that I can prepare the batter first, and bake it just before I want to eat it, not to mention that it is very easy to make. J LOVES chocolate and this cake is also one of the few desserts that M will actually eat. It was not an easy pick between this cake and cheesecake, but this one won for its simpler preparation.

I've  made this cake a few times in the past, mostly during my college years, so it is really nothing new. What I want to highlight is the vanilla bean ice cream. It is not just a vanilla ice cream but it is Pierre Herme's vanilla bean ice cream. I was actually looking for store-bought vanilla bean ice cream at my local Trader Joe's due to time constraint, but all they have was regular vanilla ice cream. M has been spoiled ever since we got back from Japan, his tastebud had changed and vanilla bean ice cream seems to be the new standard now. So I decided to make my own, also taking this opportunity to finally make something from the book "Pastries" by Pierre Herme.

Pierre's recipe uses 3 kinds of vanilla bean, Tahitian, Madagascar, and Mexican. I only had Madagascar and Mexican so those are the only two I used. I decrease the amount of vanilla bean in my ice cream and I still found it way way too strong. Don't get me wrong, I love vanilla bean but I couldn't imagine using the full amount for the vanilla bean. The ice cream is just covered with vanilla bean specks. M said it compliments the chocolate cake but it was a bit too much to eat on its own.

I remade the cake in larger quantity (for a welcoming-baby party) and so I took the opportunity to remake the vanilla bean ice cream again, this time with even less vanilla bean. I ended up using just half of what the recipe calls for and it was perfect for me.

So for those of you who are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the Summer whether and don't get stuck in 60 degree office temperature five days a week, enjoy the ice cream and smoothies while it lasts. :)

Happy Summer!

Molten Chocolate Cake
Yield: Four 6-oz ramekins

4oz unsalted butter
6oz bittersweet chocolate
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
50g sugar
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
Additional butter and cocoa powder for greasing and coating
  • Preheat the oven to 450F
  • Prepare four 6-oz ramekins. Brush with softened butter and coat it lightly with cocoa powder, tap out the excess.
    Note: I like to use cocoa powder for coating chocolate cake instead of flour to avoid getting the white specks when it is done.
  • Melt the butter and the chocolate on top of double boiler. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar until thick and pale
  • Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture
  • Fold in the flour and salt.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or refrigerate until ready to bake. If refrigerated, bake it for 13 minutes.
  • Let cool for a minute before unmolding.
  • Serve with vanilla bean ice cream
Pierre Herme's Vanilla Ice Cream

2 Tahitian vanilla beans
2 Madagascar vanilla beans
2 Mexican vanilla beans
670g whole milk
55g dry whole milk powder
260g heavy cream
120g egg yolks (6 egg yolks)
150g granulated sugar
  • Pour the milk, cream, milk powder, and vanilla bean seeds and pods into a pot
  • Bring to a boil, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
  • The next day, remove and discard the vanilla pods
  • Combine the egg yolks with the sugar
  • Pour the vanilla milk into the mixture and pour into a saucepan
  • Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard reaches 85C or 185F
  • Pour the custard into a bowl
  • Process with a hand blender and cool it as quickly as possible
  • Process into an ice cream machine and freeze
Note: I did not follow Pierre Herme's direction on this one. Instead, I made creme anglaise (see other ice cream posts for instruction) and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, discarded the pod and processed it in the ice cream maker.

1 comment:

Bakericious said...

this is really looks so inviting!