February is Chocolate Month, and it seems like every newspaper, blog and magazine has a chocolate story. Well, the traditional gift on Valentine's Day is chocolate, so it comes as no big surprise to this chocoholic. Kate Shatzkin has a review of two new chocolate cookbooks in the Baltimore Sun with a fabulous recipe for Brownie Lava Dessert. As always I recommend using the very highest quality chocolate in any recipe. For the review, go here.
Brownie Lava Dessert
(Serves 4 to 6)
1/2 cup pecan pieces
3 1/2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the pecan pieces into a baking dish and lightly toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, break up the chocolate and put it in a medium saucepan. Add the butter and melt gently over very, very low heat, stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, then gradually stir in the eggs, followed by the vanilla extract.
When those ingredients are thoroughly mixed, stir in the flour, then, finally, the nuts. When there are no more floury streaks, scrape down the sides of the pan and transfer the mixture to a greased, 7-by-2 1/2-inch round or oval baking dish.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is set on top and there is a soft, gooey layer at the bottom. Serve immediately, alone or with light cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.
-- Adapted from "Heavenly Chocolate Desserts," edited by Celine Hughes