Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Shot of Tequila and a Dose of Delicious

One of my husband's (and my) favorite video game series is Fallout. I got to thinking about it the other day, and there are quite a few parallels between the post-nuclear world of the Fallout series and the state of Florida (go with me on this, it's worth the ride). In Fallout, radioactive bugs the size of children exist. In Florida, the cockroaches are easily larger than a toddler. In Fallout, you're not *quite* sure, but everyone seems crazy and like they *may* be trying to kill you. In Florida, you're *definitely* sure that everyone is crazy and they are *definitely* trying to kill you. In Fallout, areas of toxic clouds hang around and really ruin your day. In Florida, we call these "tourists." See? Eerily similar. Maybe the game creators were from here. This would make a lot of sense because the entire state is already in the throws of total chaos, so it's an easy jumping off point creatively. We're not bartering for bottle caps (yet) like in Fallout, but Disney Dollars are currency here, so yeah. I swear all of this relates to cake. We're celebrating my husband's birthday early since we'll be traveling on his birthday, so I made him a Vault Boy birthday cake to celebrate making it to Level 32:
Surviving the last two levels in post-apocalypse Florida has been no easy task.
 Right, so it's a birthday cake with everyone's favorite post-nuclear poster boy, but it's also a birthday cake filled with everyone's favorite summer booze: tequila! This is a margarita cake with tequila lime buttercream, and it is the best parts of summer (get out of here, child-sized mosquitoes!) all in one slice. Tart, tangy, sweet, and packing a punch of cool flavor, I wish I could tell you it's super low cal, but it's just regular low cal (all things margarita are worth a few extra calories). For 12 slices of an 8-inch cake, 1 serving is 428 calories. If you serve 16 slices, you hit the super low cal territory for 321 calories a serving. Not bad either way you slice it (sorry, I had to). It is fun and flavorful and also very easy to throw together. Whether or not you choose to adorn your margarita cake with Fallout decor is totally optional, but I'd like to think a booze-laden cake would be a delicacy people would pay thousands of bottle caps for in a post-apocalyptic universe.
You're gonna juice a lot of limes, so it's a good thing there's tequila nearby.
With booze, all things are possible--in this case, I mean via baking a damn good cake, not waking up in strange land with really freaky people everywhere (Is she talking about Florida or the Fallout series?). This is actually an easy cake to put together, minus zesting the limes. I've never met a grater I liked that didn't try to snatch off my knuckles, but maybe your kitchen accoutrements are kinder than mine. For the margarita cake, you need:
  • Lemon cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • Lime zest, to taste (I'd recommend 2 tsp to 3 tsp max, or your cake might pack *too* much of a punch. If you don't like sour, nix altogether or use 1 tsp max for flavor.)
  • 1/2 cup of skim milk
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice (about 3 large limes)
  • 1/4 cup of *good* tequila (like, it costs more than 7.99 at Walmart)
  • 2 TBS of triple sec
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • Optional: a drop or two of green food coloring
Start by preheating your oven to 350. Add the mix, eggs, apple sauce, and lime zest to the bowl of your stand mixer. Give a quick whirl to barely blend ingredients together, and then add in the milk, lime juice, tequila, triple sec, and vanilla  (and green dye if adding) and blend on medium-high for 2 minutes. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans with Parchment paper and cooking spray.
I want to drink you with a straw.
Pour your batter into your prepared pans, tap on the counter to release air bubbles, and bake at 350 for about 25-28 minutes until done. Place cake pans on a cooling rack for ten minutes before turning out onto the cooling rack to finish cooling completely. Once my cakes were cool, I measured out the size my buttercream transfer needed to be, and then a wrapped each round in 3 layers of plastic wrap. I put each round into a gallon Ziplock and left in the freezer for later in the week when I'd decorate and assemble everything. I knew I'd need a few days for my buttercream transfer, but I wanted it properly sized to the top of the cake, so I needed to bake my rounds first. This method of wrapping and freezing cakes works extremely well--each slice tastes like it was baked yesterday and not last Monday.
Mas tequila!
Full disclosure, this is *not* a good frosting for buttercream transfers (but dear GOD is it delicious) because the citrus in the lime keeps the buttercream from fully crusting. I did not know this when I made it, so thankfully I was able to hobble together a decent-looking transfer even with this problem. I had to make some alternate decoration plans, but more on that later. Remove the citrus if you're doing a transfer so it will crust. If you're not doing a transfer, this is still stiff enough to pipe with and tastes like the first sip of an ice-cold margarita. The heavens will open, you'll hear mariachi music, and you will be transported to the best Tex-Mex restaurant of all time with each bite. To make this margarita magic come to life, get:
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of Crisco (if not making a transfer, use 2 cups of butter and nix the Crisco for richer flavor)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 cups of Swerve confectioners
  • 1 TBS clear vanilla extract
  • 2 TBS lime juice (I recommend milk instead if you're making a transfer)
  • 1 TBS tequila
  • 1 TBS triple sec
Mix the butter and Crisco in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add in the 3 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lime juice. Blend well on medium before adding in the 3 cups of Swerve, tequila, and triple sec. Frost whatever designs your heart desires on fully cooled cakes or cupcakes. If you're interested in transfers, feel free to read my extremely detailed transfer tips and instructions, but I'll also cruise through how I made Vault Boy come to life for this birthday cake.
Vault Boy does not wear mauve. My printer was out of blue ink.
 I always print out whatever my transfer design is going to be, sized exactly how I need it for the top of my cake because being a perfectionist comes in super handy when you bake. Being neurotic has to have the occasional perk. I then trace my design on Parchment paper, flip it over, and tape it to a clear cutting board. For this design, I dyed and divvied my frosting up into a tiny amount of black in one piping bag with a #3 round tip, a tiny amount of beige in another with a #2 round tip, a large amount of royal blue in another bag with a #5 tip, a medium amount of yellow in a bag with a #3 round tip, and the rest of my frosting stayed white. I put a large amount into a bag with a #12 tip (for the background) and a tiny amount into a bag with a #2 tip (for the mouth). I worked on this over the span of a few days, so my frosting lived in the fridge while it was between uses.
He's not so much winking at you as he is making sure he's a safe distance from nuclear radiation.
 I outlined Vault Boy, clearly way too cheery considering his circumstances, and wrote in my LEVEL 32 before peeking at my work up to very bright kitchen lights:
Also, I was spell-checking.
 If you see any bits of light poking through what you've piped, come back in with a small paintbrush and press your frosting together. You want to make sure there are not tiny gaps anywhere, so I pretty much take a paintbrush to the entire outline and make sure it is smooth and even. Black frosting runs terribly, and since I knew it would be next to white, yellow, and beige, I left my transfer in the freezer overnight to set as best as it could. But it refused to fully set; proving anything with tequila in it is bound to cause you grief eventually.
Stop smiling, it isn't funny, Vault Boy!
Frustrated and eagerly eyeing the frosting I could potentially use to eat this problem away, I soldiered on and piped in his teeth, the white in the crook of his arm, and all the yellow my transfer needed. I was hoping he wouldn't end up looking like he was a Fallout ghoul that didn't make it to his vault in time before war were declared (yep, I can put a Futurama reference into anything). I held up to the light and used my paintbrush to push frosting in to any tiny open spaces, cleaning the brush between each swipe/press. I froze this for two hours before coming back in.
Oh yeah, he's definitely got some nuclear fallout effects from this angle. Bubbling skin? Nose fell off? Missing an eyebrow? This poor boy. Get him a Stimpak and RadAway, stat!
 I piped in his blue jumpsuit and gave the man some skin (only ghouls need to exist skinless in this and any universe).
Yet, through all this, he remains smiling. That's courage.
 I finished up this day by piping a border around the entire design and placed the transfer into the freezer overnight. I had to work quickly and carefully since this would not fully crust, so there was a lot of breaking for freezing.
Now he's being eaten by a cloud of frosting. Still clearly happy about it, though.
 The next day, or as I was calling it, "Day 3 of the hostage situation," I came back in with my large white frosting with #12 tip and traced all around Vault Boy, using a larger paint brush to press in any gaps.
And then he vanished, like the mysterious stranger...Wait, is Vault Boy actually the mysterious stranger character in Fallout? Did I just jokingly stumble upon some deep, dark secret?
 I finished up by cover him up with frosting, smoothed things out, and did a check for gaps:
See top right where there are lines of light oozing through? That's what I'm talking about. Use a paintbrush to fix those!
 Once all gaps were smoothed, it was time for my transfer to go live in the freezer for a full 24-hours. I had leftover frosting of all colors, but I only needed my blue and yellow to finish the cake. I used almost all of both of these colors to finish assembling. I did not crumb coat since I was trying to save some calories, but definitely had enough frosting to do so if you need a thicker base. I may or may not have mainlined my beige frosting from the bag straight into my mouth because as someone who doesn't drink, I really needed a stiff margarita after working on that transfer for three days straight.
Like a giant, radioactive Oreo.
 After completing my transfer, I opted to stop eating bags of frosting and instead assemble the rest of the cake. I took a large amount of blue and filled the middle of my cake. I came back in and applied a thin layer of blue to the rest of the sides. Since this frosting would not fully crust, my dreams of using the Viva paper towel trick to smooth it out before slapping a giant Vault 86 sign for Derek's birth year on the side of the cake were dashed. Instead I used my angled spatula to create a pattern around my cake:
I placed my spatula on the cake and quickly swiped up before setting it down close to where I just swiped and repeated.

It gave a nice, festive edge to the cake. Kinda like a giant cupcake wrapper in what I call "Radioactive Blue."
I put this into a cake safe and placed into the fridge until my transfer was as frozen as it was gonna get the next day.
Thank God, he wasn't lost in the blast.
 I carefully took the tape off of my transfer to remove it from the cutting board before flipping over and so, so gently placing on the top of my cake. I slowly removed my Parchment paper to reveal the transfer it all it's glory. Thankfully it actually was glory and not horror. No Vault Boys were harmed in the making of this cake. I let this sit out for about 5-10 minutes before coming in with a Viva paper towel to attempt to smooth out. It just wasn't crusting, so I ended up using a small paintbrush to try to smooth out major roughness.
So bright! So cheery! So the opposite of my personality!
 I then placed #21 tips on my yellow and blue frosting bags and piped a simple border around the edge of my transfer to cover up the edges.
On Day 4, Kate Created Birthday Cake.
It may have taken most of a week and all of my sanity, but we do crazy, inexplicable things for the people we love. I knew Derek would see this cake and immediately be happy, and he was thrilled. I also let him mainline some of the extra frosting, so this was an extra birthday bonus. I am always happy to come up with birthday cake ideas for him. He's a fun guy with a ton of cool, nerdy interests, so this yields some epic cakes.
So green! I promise, non-toxic and no need for RadAway to eat a slice.
Minus the salted rim, this cake really does taste exactly like a margarita in food form. I thought I might have pushed the boundaries of boozy cakes too far this time, so I am really happy with how delicious this cake turned out to be. A margarita is still the only stiff drink I will have on occasion anymore because I fully believe that although the calories may be empty, a good margarita fills you with enough joy that it kind of evens out. Now that I've turned my favorite drink into my favorite dessert, I'm feeling unstoppable! That also might be because of our impending trip to Texas this week, where the 'ritas are plentiful and delicious. And while everything may be bigger in Texas, including the bugs and heat index, at least I never confuse it for a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The people are way too friendly and the driving not nearly Mad Max-y enough. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
Thumbs up to another year of greatness!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Pie: Miracle Worker

When I think of Jell-o, it hurts my teeth. As anyone who has had braces or had their wisdom teeth removed can tell you, there are times when your diet consists only of the softest, most easily swallowed foods to avoid having your teeth come within a millimeter of food particles, triggering *all* of the pain. I vividly recall my diet consisting primarily of ramen noodles, scrambled eggs, and Jello for quite some time in my teen years (coincidentally, also in college, but mostly just because I was more interested in spending money on shoes and not food). Because of these memories, I don't usually make many desserts that feature Jello as the main ingredient. But it's hot in Florida, like the surface of the sun is having summer vacation here right now hot, so I wanted to make a dessert without the word "lava" in it. I wanted something that could work miracles and help me cool off while also delivering something sweet and delicious, so this was definitely a job for pie. A strawberry cream pie, specifically:
It screams summer in all the right (non-sweaty) ways.
It's a strawberry cream pie, but I've been referring to it as a strawberry dream pie because: 1. I am a huge dork, 2. Not only is it a fantastic combination of light, airy filling, but it also packs a nice blend of tart, sweet bite from the strawberries, and 3. Because it's only 129 calories a slice. A friggin' steal! I mean, you could eat half the pie in one sitting if you wanted to and still be better off than eating that one so-so hamburger at your neighbor's backyard barbecue. Also with the added bonus that this pie doesn't require you to stand anywhere near an open flame when it's 6,000 degrees out while making lame jokes about someone leaving the heat on outside. Stay inside, enjoy air conditioning, eat pie, and thank yourself for being able to avoid pretending to like people for another day. That's pretty much what the weekend is made for anyway, right?
That and finding sneaky ways to eat butter in all your meals, including dessert.
I've mentioned my easy and low-cal pie crust recipe before, but it was ages ago, so we've all promptly forgotten about it by now because the internet has given us the gift of a goldfish-adjacent attention span. To make your pie crust, you'll need:
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of granular Swerve
  • 6 sheets of cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon of water
Invest in a small food processor, and you can make all the pie crust in the world!
 Dump the butter, Swerve, and graham crackers in a food processor and grind until smooth. Then, add in the tablespoon of water and mix everything together til a wet crumb is formed.
Good things start with graham crackers.
Press your crumbs into a pie pan and then place into the freezer to set for 30 minutes. I only have a shallow pie pan, and I ended up making wayyyy too much filling, so the recipe below for the filling will work for a deep dish pie crust. I'll give tips for what would work better for a shallow pie pan as well for all my fellow shallow (pan) people. Once set, remove from the freezer, preheat your oven to 375 and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Place on a cooling rack and set in the fridge while you make your pie filling.
Jello, you were there for me when I could eat literally nothing else. Thanks, braces.
To make the filling, you'll use:
  • 1 8 ounce tub of Cool Whip Free
  • 1 small package (0.3 oz) of sugar free strawberry Jello
  • 2-4 cups of strawberries, reserve 6 for topping, sliced*
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
*For a deep dish pie, use 4 cups of strawberries. For a regular, shallow pie pan, use 2 cups of strawberries. In either case, reserve a few for garnish. I had about 1/3 of the filling leftover when I used 4 cups of strawberries, and I think one pack (2 cups) of strawberries would've been the perfect amount for the filling instead. I did get to enjoy leftover filling with graham crackers though, so, no complaints either way.

Boil your water, and mix it with the Jello in a medium-large bowl until the Jello is completely dissolved. In a measuring cup, measure out 1/2 cup of cold water, and then dump in ice cubes until your water reaches the 1 cup measuring line. Throw this in with your boiling Jello mix and whisk until the ice is completely melted:
I say large bowl because I clearly whisk with the speed and grace of a tornado.
 Your mixture should thicken a bit while whisking, but set aside completely for 10 minutes to firm up and keep your filling from being a soupy mess (outside is enough of a soupy mess--don't let your pie follow suit). I took this time to remove the tops and slice all my strawberries into small chunks, and then took my remaining six strawberries, chopped the tops, and very thinly sliced them vertically. Yes, I did all this in ten minutes. I am wise with time. Thanks for noticing (she types while still in pjs at 3 p.m.).
Jello abuse!
 When I poked my mixture with a whisk after ten minutes of setting, it was nice and firm. The whisk didn't sink to the bottom of the bowl, and the Jello gave some resistance (futile!). Now, we're ready for Cool Whip. Then again, we're never not ready for Cool Whip during summer, really.
Mix in the Cool Whip until you have a beautifully smooth, pink bowl of pie filling.

Now add in however many strawberries as your pie pan will allow.

Give a good stir until everything is well mixed, then top your bowl with plastic wrap and place your pie filling in the fridge to firm up for thirty minutes. Once the filling is firmed up, time to make the magic happen.
Get that gorgeously tanned (consider my pasty body jealous) pie crust.
Turn out your filling into the cooled crust, and smooth with a spatula.
Now, take those thinly sliced strawberries and create whatever decoration your heart desires on top of your pie. I went with a sunburst pattern because it's summer, and I like constantly being reminded that the sun is trying to kill me during this season.
Plus, sunburst patterns just look pretty.
 Now, much like all things that have Jello in them, you must do the unimaginable: put your pie into the fridge to set for at least 4-5 hours. I know. I saved this painful tidbit til the end because the pie is most definitely worth the wait. The irony--the pain of waiting for the pie that is there to solve the pain of summer. The longer you let it set, the easier it will be to slice and serve, so make a day ahead if you have time.
A beautiful color contrast. Pictured on top: me after 5 minutes in the summer sun. Pictured on bottom: a normal person's tan after being outside all summer.
Worth. the. wait.
After those long, grueling hours of wanting to eat pie and not being able to, the time has finally come. Slice up, enjoy, repeat. Low calorie, but not low flavor. The cinnamon crust and the sweet filling are a combination so great, you will forget you live on the surface of the sun. It's nice and cool while also being delicious and satisfying. I sincerely enjoyed this pie, and my Jello-tooth-PTSD was a non issue since it's mostly there to add some extremely yummy strawberry flavor to the pie.
The chunky texture of the strawberries also helped.
Definitely keep leftover pie (yes, this is a thing) in the fridge. I made this pie last weekend and had a few slices (and a massive bowl of leftover filling) before saving the remaining slices for my husband to enjoy with me now that he's back from his work trip across the pond. I am told it was hot there, too, but not "Florida hot." This is a real thing. The kind of heat that singes the skin while the humidity simultaneously makes you sweat even at a standstill. Magical! The pie has kept excellently though, and leftover slices are going very quickly because it most definitely it an excellent remedy for the heat. I truly believe if world peace is ever found, it will be through someone's pie recipe. Praise pie, and it's curative deliciousness. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
Pie: solving problems for centuries.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Liquid Hot (Dessert) Magma

I am super excited because I finally bought a set of ramekins (your 30s are wild, man). I've always wanted a set because single-serving dessert ideas are a necessary evil when your husband travels for work, like, a lot. When he goes, I'm usually in need of cake or pie to cope. But when my eyes and my stomach see cake, it's viewed as a hearty challenge to see how big of a slice I can eat in one sitting. Enter the ramekin, and I can eat like an actual 31 year old and instead of a 13 year old. Adulting is mostly about learning portion control and how to do your taxes, and I kind of suck at both. What I lack in typical adult capabilities, I make up for in the fact that I clean a mean house and can bake my way out of most adult situations. Need to make a phone call? Sorry, I've got cookies in the oven. Have to answer the front door? Nope, covered in cake batter. I'm starting to realize it might not be adulting that I'm not good at but simply's a good thing I can cram my mouth full of cake and not have to talk about this any further. Thanks, ramekins! You made my dreams come true (both the antisocial and pro-dessert ones) with the amazing capability to bake tiny, delicious lava cakes in you:

Liquid hot dessert magma: peanut butter (left) and dulce de leche (right) editions.
Did I also mention owning ramekins makes having several different flavors of cake possible in one week? The versatility is thrilling! I would've been just as jazzed about this at age 18 as I am ate age 31 because I simply appreciate being able to eat as many different cakes as possible in an average week. Variety is the spice of life (says the woman who plans out outfits in advance and keeps a written weekly planner). But the bottom line is this: chocolate peanut butter lava cakes and dark chocolate dulce de leche lava cakes will change your life. But not in the, "They've made my pants fit tighter" manner, because these are guilt free even with ice cream on top! The peanut butter lava cakes are only 206 calories a serving (add a scoop of peanut butter Halo Top for 80 calories) and the dulce de leche lava cakes are only 171 calories a serving (add a scoop of sea salt caramel Halo Top for 80 calories). Even if you don't like peanut butter or caramel (we can't be friends, but...), you can fill your cake with a traditional fudge or try something fun like a raspberry coulis. Whatever your poison, the base chocolate cake recipe is to die for. It is so decadent and delicious you'd never know it was only going to set you back as far as a salad calorie-wise. Perhaps the best thing about these cakes (aside from being able to top them with a ludicrous amount of ice cream with no guilt) is that the lava cake should be eaten fresh, piping hot from the oven. That's right, NO WAITING TIME! My impatient little heart could burst (it would burst caramel and peanut butter, at this point). These cakes come together and get inhaled in under 30 minutes, so if I haven't sold you on all the benefits by now, you probably don't like dessert, so I'm not sure what you're even doing here.
Maybe you just enjoy a cleverly written blog. Good for you.
 I made these cakes in a medium bowl, starting with my dry ingredients. This makes two cakes (my ramekins are 7 ounces each). You'll need:
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBS All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Swerve granular
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder (if you want a dark chocolate cake, use 1 1/2 TBS regular cocoa powder and 1/2 TBS dark cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of salt
Mix these together in a bowl and preheat your oven to 425, then grab the wet ingredients.

Where would I be without unsweetened applesauce...
In the same bowl as your dry ingredients, add:
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS skim milk
  • 2 TBS unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar (works with the baking soda to puff up your lava cakes)
Mix together until your batter is nice and smooth. Prepare your ramekins with cooking spray and dust with more cocoa powder. Pour 1/4 of the batter into one ramekin, 1/4 of the batter into another ramekin, and then find your center of choice (fudge, peanut butter, dulce de leche, fruit filling, etc.).
Place 1 TBS of your preferred yummy center into each ramekin. Pictured here is creamy Jif--accept no peanut butter substitutes. Jif will make magic happen.
Then take 1/4 of the cake batter and drop on top of your filling. Repeat with the other cake. Your filling might stick out a bit like the world's strangest belly button (pictured above, if you tilt your head..sorry), but it will melt down as your cake bakes, so don't worry.
Things turned out juuuust fine in the end.
 Place your ramekins on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. You want the sides completely cooked, but the top will still be a little underdone. My oven cooks hot, and my cakes were ready at 13 minutes.
Tops not totally set, but the sides are--this is what you're looking for.
Give the cakes just a minute or two so that the ramekins don't burn off your fingertips when you handle them. This will be one of the longest minutes of your life.
Kinda looks like the Pizza Hut logo.
 I'd still recommend using oven mitts unless you're looking to remove your finger prints so you can rob a candy store (or a bank if you're an adult). Run a dull knife around the edges of your cake to completely loosen the sides from the ramekin. Place a serving plate on top of your ramekin, and then invert:
And pray you've used enough Pam.
 Tap the ramekin a few times until you feel the cake release. My peanut butter cakes came out easier than the dulce de leche ones because the caramel is so deliciously sticky that it didn't want to let go of the ramekin where it had leaked out a bit. Things should still come out nicely with just a small indent in the bottom/top of the cake where your filling is:
So chocolatey.
Don't worry about that tiny imperfection though. That's what the ice cream is for:
Hellllooooo, gorgeous!
 You could call it a day and devour here, but I went for broke and added chocolate sauce on top of my peanut butter lava cake.
Yep, worth it.
 With my other cake, I did a small dissection/science experiment for photo purposes. I had to get a photo of that peanut butter ooze:
Yep, that's the stuff.
 What? My husband is gone. Maybe I wanted to eat both cakes in one sitting since I didn't have to share with anyone. The dogs can't have chocolate! In all honesty, I saved this one for the next day. I swear. With my dark chocolate dulce de leche cakes, I remembered to take a photo of the caramel oozing across the plate before topping with ice cream and scarfing down in under 15 seconds.
Dulce de leche is arguably the sexiest of all dessert toppings. Just check that lava flow!
Having to pick a favorite lava cake flavor is like having to pick your favorite all secretly have one but don't want to say which. Look, they're both absolutely amazing depending on your flavor palette. As a Texan obsessed with dulce de leche, the dark chocolate lava cake with caramel-y center was hands down my favorite. It was so delicious I felt like there was no way in hell it was actually under 200 calories, and I even checked my math five times to be sure. It is, and dear sweet baby Jesus is it good. With my leftover lava cake, I left it in the ramekin topped with foil and saved for the next day. If you have leftover lava cakes, reheat in the microwave for 45 seconds (without the foil, obviously, unless you like blowing up your microwave). This gets the center nice and melty again. Whatever you do, whichever amazing flavor you prefer, do not forget the ice cream! Lava cakes are like the world's most delicious edible ice cream bowl.
The cake soaks up the melty ice cream, keeping you from becoming a giant sticky mess.
I mean, check that peanut butter ice cream melt into the chocolate cake into the melty peanut butter center. Meltception! I think I need to go make one of these right now...that photo is making my tongue feel things. I'm a huge fan of Halo Top ice cream because it's on the healthyish side but still tastes so creamy. Let it sit out to soften for 30-45 minutes to reach maximum flavor potential. I'm still really patting myself on the back for coming up with a single serving dessert featuring cake, melty, gooey center, and ice cream for fewer calories than a handful of potato chips but still tasting like it should be at least 1500 calories (looking at you, Chili's molten lava cake). Where there's a gluttonous will combined with bikini season, there is most definitely a way. Bottom line is it won't give your bottom anymore lines, so make the cake, devour the cake, and remind yourself that every once in a while, being an adult is actually pretty damn fun. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
Fun because you can totally eat this for breakfast if you want to. Adulting!