Sunday, July 28, 2013

Molten Lava Cake with Caramelized Bananas!


This doesn’t happen very often, I usually post a blog entry and leave it, however the first draft I published was just pitiful. You know when you get that writer’s block and nothing seems to come together…that’s exactly what happened. I tripped over so many words and thoughts even I got confused at what I was writing about! Unfortunately I published anyways… probably  because I wanted to post the pictures (these pictures came out really well! You can't really blame me for getting too excited...) but for those select few who actually read the blog as well as look at the pictures, I apologize, it was an awful, confusing entry. Today, I redeem myself, well more like cheatingly redeem myself because I’m going to completely replace my first draft with a new one and no one will have to know how awful that one was.

I do, however, want to keep it along the same topic: the pros and cons of today’s technological advances. Did I lose anyone yet? No. Good. I’m still here as well. If you read my old (now replaced) entry, you’d know what I mean: jibber jabber and going nowhere…my train of thought completely derailed. No fear, I have found the tracks and back on point (maybe)!

First point: technology is awesome! I don’t think I’d be able to live without technology, it’s like a drug! Unlimited resources at base of our finger tips, literally! It’s crazy how far we’ve come, 15 years ago common folk didn’t have laptop computers, tablets, or smart phones that we can carry around with us wherever we went and with a click of a button connect with the rest of the world. We were grounded- computers were the size of large boulders with memory the size of a pea, phones were connected to the walls of our houses and the only place you can travel with that is maybe (if you’re lucky) to your doorway and back, and the only type of tablets we knew of were made of stone!

Do you remember dial up internet?! How we use to have to share that with our land line phones - if you were online, whoever was trying to call your house would get the busy signal? Or how it’d take a good 5 minutes to connect to the internet? Now when my internet takes more than a second to load its like “what is this crap?!”


Oh what about VHS tapes?! Remember how we use to have to rewind tapes every time we finished watching a movie? My family use to have a separate machine just for that purpose. It rewound in 5 minutes instead of the normal 7-8 it’d take for the VCR to do it. Wow, were we patient back in the day!

Technology has definitely made things for the better. I, for one, am SO glad that there is an app for Google Maps. My record of getting lost has gone down significantly since I’ve gotten that!


Second point: technology is evil. Yup, I have a love-hate relationship with technology. Though it has brought us countless benefits, it has its downfalls. No, not because it sometimes fails (though when it does, you want nothing more than to smash it with a sludge hammer!) but it makes us less ….well interactive … where is the human contact? Do people even talk anymore? Write hand written letters?

Pure irony I know, we’re able to connect to the world but yet so disconnect. If you go into a restaurant and look at the people at the dinner tables, or if you’re in conference room with people waiting around for a meeting, what do you see? Are people talking to each other? No. Everyone is preoccupied with some sort of high tech gadget. I hate that. What is the point of meeting or coming together if all you do is come together to text/message other people? You mind as well just have stayed home and you can text me from there, saves me a trip from talking to the back of your cell phone/the wall. It’s funny how technology has allowed us to connect with people all over the world but somehow made us lose touch with the people who are right next door.  


At this point, we’re all going to end up looking like the people in the movie Wall-E, super-sized and completely enveloped into our own little worlds. Go outside! Go for a hike! Have a stroll down the block! Say hi to your neighbor! Have a meal with your friend and hold a conversation (don’t touch your phones!). Technology is a supplement to our lives, not become our lives.


So now that I’ve completed another one of my many rants in a more collected manner, its time for some recipe/food sharing life enrichment via over the internet. See, when used right, technology is our friend. This was a fun experiment: molten lava cakes! I never realized how easy lava cakes were to make. Basically it’s an under baked chocolate cake. Looked so complicated with all that gooey goodness in the center but don’t worry, it’s easy and still impressive enough to those who doesn't know the secret!

Combined recipes from: Food Network's Molten Lava Cake and Epicurious's Caramelized Banana with Rum Sauce.
Ingredients
For Cakes:
  • 6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur

For Caramelized Bananas
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 banana, halved lengthwise, then crosswise
  • 6 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons rum (preferably dark)
  • 6 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  tablespoons sliced or chopped nuts, toasted
Procedures:
For Cake:
1.       Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.      Grease 6 (6-ounce) custard cups.
3.      Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler.
4.      Add the flour and sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur.
5.      Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes.
6.      The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.
For bananas:
  1. Melt butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté banana, cut sides down, shaking skillet, 1 minute.
  2. Remove skillet from heat (away from flame) and sprinkle brown sugar around banana, then pour rum around banana.
  3. Return skillet to heat and continue to sauté, shaking skillet occasionally, until sugar begins to melt, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add water, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Serve banana hot, sprinkled with nuts.

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