Let’s talk about mint for a second.
If you know me well, you know I have an issue with mint. Although it would be hard to tell, given that I’ve made you Chocolate Porter Brownies with Mint Frosting, Chocolate Mint Stout Ice Cream, and our neighborhood beer float hussy, The Dirty Girl Scout. You could have even assumed that I LOVE mint by all of those recipes, but the truth is that this is my culinary equililant of Exposure Therapy.
The devolution of mint in my life happened in Morocco. I was traveling though Middle Atlas a few year ago with my sister, being carted from one town to another in the back of what was surely the car of a Moroccan drug dealer (or at least drug dropper-offer-guy, *actual term). I can’t even really pinpoint which incident linked Mint with Morocco in my brain. Maybe it was the cave dweller in Middle Atlas who made me mint tea, or the three Moroccan rug makers who locked me in the back of the factory plying me with mint tea in an effort to convince me to spend $6000 on a rug, or maybe it was the mint vendors waving their wares at me in the walled maze that was the old City Medina.
To be honest, the experience wasn’t entirely bad. Terrifying and life changing, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to have gone to the other side of the world, even if it did involved running for my life through the late night streets of Fez. The rumor is that your sense of taste is more strongly linked to memories than images. Which makes sense. Because even when I see my photos from that trip, it doesn’t even come close to evoking the memories that come screaming back when I smell or taste fresh mint.
I want to like mint, it’s an incredible flavor. It’s fresh and bright, and makes me gag. But I’m working on it. Exposure therapy, one chocolate mint dessert at a time.
Months ago, when I found out about the Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout I was excited that my self imposed mint affliction could extend into my love of craft beer.
This might do it. And with a bold and creamy taste, and a gentle, but not sweet, mint flavor, I have high hopes that I will someday be the cure to my mint aversion. I think I need to send Ken Schmidt a mint flavored thank you card.
Chocolate Mint Stout Lava Cake
- 3.5 oz (100 g) Dark Chocolate 70%
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (10 tbs)
- 2/3 cup Chocolate Mint Stout (or chocolate stout)
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 3 eggs plus 3 additional yolks
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp espresso powder (this will not make the dessert taste like coffee. Espresso intensifies chocolate)
- 2 tbs dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Butter six soufflé dishes very well. The best way to do this is to soften butter (or use vegetable shortening or margarine) and a wadded up paper towel, smear a large amount inside each dish, making sure to get into the edges.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the chocolate and butter. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add beer, and peppermint extract, stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and powdered sugar.
- Pour chocolate mixture over egg mixture, stir to combine.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder, espresso powder and flour over chocolate mixture, stir until just combined.
- Divide equally between souffle dishes, making sure not to fill more than 2/3 full. Press about 4 to 5 chocolate chips into the very center of each cake (can be made one day ahead, cover and chill).
- Bake at 425 until the outside is set, but the center is still liquid, about 9 minute no more than 13. (Note: Glass baking dishes cook much faster then ceramic dishes. Take these out of the oven when it looks as if they "need a few more minutes," you want a very runny center.)
- Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake. Place a plate on top of each ramekin, turn upside down, lift ramekin to reveal cake. Serve immediately.
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