A few years ago when we lived in Bangalore, I was a member of the British Council Library. There was a reasonably-sized shelf for cookery books there and I once borrowed a big fat book on chocolate. It was roughly 12 inches by 10 inches, dark brown in colour with a gilt edged chocolate cake on the cover. For such a delicious-looking book that was full of information on the history of chocolate, the origin and cultivation of the cocoa plant and a section on chocolate-based recipes, it was simply titled Chocolate.
The book was intriguing and I noted down quite a few recipes. Sadly, most of them called for the use of eggs. I was new to cooking then and did not quite know that eggs could be substituted with other things. I’ve lost that entire bunch of cocoa-flavoured notes. Although its proportions elude me, once recipe from that collection that remains etched in my mind is a self-saucing cake. What I remember is that the process included pouring water (yes!) over the cake batter, no mixing! The cake pan with the batter, topped with water went into the oven and out came a sinful-looking cake covered with a thick chocolate sauce.
I always wondered if I’d ever be able to get my hands on that recipe. And then the other day, I came across this blog‘s caffeine-addict’s molten mocha brownie which was in turn inspired by this self-saucing mocha brownie. It is a cross between a brownie and a molten lava cake, as the blogger puts it, and it really is that. The recipe has you sprinkle a cocoa powder-sugar mixture on top of the cake batter with a cup of cold strong coffee poured over! It looked amazing.
So, out I took my little faithful spiral notebook and took down the recipe. I tried it the very next day. It was very simple to put together. Given my penchant for messing up even the easiest bake, I halved the quantity to be on the safer side. The timing was a little problem though. I guess I baked it for a few minutes longer than required (I baked it for 35 minutes for half the quantity against the original 40. I think 32 minutes would have been enough). It is supposed to be a brownie covered in chocolate “sauce” when out of the oven. Mine was a brownie covered in chocolate “paste”. But I’m not complaining at all. The brownie has pockets of chocolate sauce everywhere. And I made it in time for my chocoholic nephew’s arrival and this is what he did.
This one isn’t the kind of brownie that you buy in bakeries, neatly cut into squares and wrapped in plastic wrap. This is more fudgy and chocolaty and messy than anything you ever imagined! And how was it cleaning up the mess later? Why don’t you tell me how it was?