Moelleux au Chocolat…oh Yeah

Can anyone really sleep on airplanes? If you can, please tell me your secret (but if it’s nyquil I want none of it; that’s just been descension into further airplane purgatory with every swig). My present plan-of-attack is to watch four movies and hope to Jesus there is some earth beneath those wheels soon after. I must admit, however, the proceeding hours of looking and acting much like an alert meerkat are not worth the aerial ones spent with Jason Segel and Emily Blunt (oh my gosh, though, were they FUNNY).

One revision I can speak of with certainty (and dignity, might I add) is to bring moelleux au chocolat with me. What’s that, you say? Oh, just a light, moist muffin-like creation of heaven with a French accent. And a mustache.

No beret, though.

I read an article several months ago about the serious lack of traveling going on in American youth today. Now, what the heck is that about? Money? Fear? Aversion to foreign smells? I mean, I can sympathize; trips are often ordeals, from paperwork to digestion disagreements. Plus, some people just aren’t travelers. Take my grandma for instance: heart of a lion, curious as a cat with the wisdom of  an owl (?), but she went to Hawaii in 1950 and hasn’t voyaged since.

Still, what about the rest of us? Where’s the innate sense of adventure born within every other bouncing baby (at least)? Has this gene dwindled in face of a dominant, home-body one? I don’t think so. My suspicion is that, more often than not, we ‘Mericans have gotten very comfortable. So much so that we’ve met a point of not wishing for other worlds, of not longing for their experiences.

Forgive the generalization. As previously shared, I do accept the non-traveling trait. But Tennessee Williams’ simple and strong advice of: “Make voyages! Attempt them! There’s nothing else,” refers to more than a Hollywood tour in L.A. or the weekend getaway of a lifetime: Dallas, Texas.

Let’s make endeavors and journeys. Let’s challenge ourselves in every way, so we have everyone around us learning, too. Let’s work to live. Let’s try.

So I went to France! If there is no inference of such an excursion between the moelleux and the pictures (and the mustache) available, that is. I experienced anxiety like a great bout of stage fright minutes before a performance. I missed my train in Paris. My plans changed entirely within a few days of being there. I learned my French is a poor excuse for the language. Also, that public bathrooms are comparatively immaculate in the States. But holy salami did I sing the song I’ve fallen asleep to since I can remember!

That is, it was wonderful.

Wonderful like moelleux. Lighter and heavier than expected like moelleux. Au chocolat like moelleux. Inspiring and unforgettable like moelleux. Hence this lovely though not exact recreation! An offering to the (food blog) world, a chance to share what France shared with me.

Moelleux au Chocolat, Oh Yeah

total time involved: approximately 20 minutes

makes 4 small ramekins, or 8 muffin-pan fellows

adapted from: Juls’ Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 25 grams or about 1.7 tablespoons butter, room temperature recommended
  • 175 grams or about .90 cup (I pretty much made the 1 cup mark) chopped dark chocolate, 60-70% cacao preferred
  • 75 grams or 2/3 ish cup sugar, though I went to just over 1/2 cup organic
  • 2 free range (oh yeah) large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch o’ salt
  • 25 grams or about 1.7 tablespoons flour (I used white whole wheat which yielded a more glutenous, muffin-y moelleux, as opposed to an almost pudding-like truer version)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C or about 400°F.
  2. Butter and flour the muffin pan or ramekins. I used the paper sort but not without thought toward the environment, I assure ye.
  3. Put a pan in either to help the oven heat up or induce the warmth of the pan/expediting a good crust and soft inside; both ways are potentially helpful, eh (I’ve yet to straighten out the myths).
  4. Set up a double boiler, whether with a pot and a heat-proof bowl or an inclusive set. Simmer water, then add chocolate in the top and melt without burning. It should be smooth sailing after a few minutes of melting, even if there are still lumps (they’ll blend in with stirring). Set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together (by hand-mixer or KitchenAid fanciness) until pale and fluffy (crumbles are okay).
  6. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. It’s handy to have a Krisla around to keep the mixer going while cracking eggs one-handed (I swear it looked like no-hands) so you can drop the vanilla in right after. But mostly to feel pleased with yourselves.
  7. Stir in the flour until just combined, then gently fold (sans mixer, avec wooden spoon) in chocolate. Things will be looking quite thick from here on out!
  8. Divide between the muff-pans or the ramekins. If the latter, then stick the ramekins on top of the preheated pan in the oven.
  9. Bake for 8 minutes! You’re looking at an under-baked lovely by nature, so don’t expect a solid top. They’re fluffy and light to the touch.
  10. Eat! Oh, yay! Bon appetit, mes amis! Santé!

-Bette Jane

P.S. Note how Krisla sports the new Northern look.

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