Ooey Gooey Fall Treats

I don’t think anyone really needs this reminder, but fall is really in full swing. With the start of fall comes cooler temperatures, and while I don’t love that (or the thought that it’s only going to get colder), there is one thing that I do appreciate about the colder weather. And that is the abundance of possibilities to cozy up with warm foods I wouldn’t really want to eat on a summer day. When I think of cozy foods, I think of warm desserts: rich hot chocolates, pies and crisps, bread puddings, and lava caves. Of course apples and pears and pumpkins are great fall additions, but sometimes, I just want something richer and more decadent.

So when it came time to find a recipe for this week’s tea time, I wanted to find something different from the traditional fall desserts, even though I absolutely love pumpkin desserts. I guess I had lava cakes on my mind, but in my hopes of finding something different from what I’ve tried before, I was determined to stay away from the classic chocolate molten lava cake. And that’s when I happened upon Cafe Delites’ Churro Lava Cakes. Just the thought of crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside churros with ooey gooey chocolate oozing out of it had me sold. And it definitely helped that I was instantly reminded of Spanish churros and hot chocolate, which I can’t wait to get my hands on when I visit Europe this summer. It’s been well over ten years since I’ve been to Spain, but I still remember the crispy churros served with rich, thick hot chocolate so fondly. (Before I knew I’d be going to Europe this summer, it felt like so many of my friends were telling me about how much they enjoyed churros and hot chocolate when they went to Spain. Not gonna lie, I was definitely a little jealous even though I was happy that they got to experience eating one of my favorite desserts.)

But as I scrolled through the beautifully-photographed churro lava cake recipe, I couldn’t resist officially deciding that it was the one…we were going to use for tea time. We prepared the chocolate ganache ahead of time since it had to set. So during tea time. all we had to do was spoon the ganache into the center of the wells of a cupcake tray, and then pour the churro batter on top. I think that idea was that the batter would envelop the balls of ganache, but sometimes, we get a little carried away with our measurements of tablespoons and make them heaping tablespoons instead.

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Preparing churro lava cakes involved heaping spoonfuls of chocolate ganache with churro batter on top

Nonetheless, I think they turned out pretty great and looked pretty in their own way. It seemed like the mentors agreed since they could barely wait for us to dust the cakes with cinnamon sugar before devouring them. And not dusting them in cinnamon sugar wasn’t really an option since they wouldn’t be churro lava cakes without it.

Because taking them out of cupcake trays resulted in all of the ganache oozing out from the top, we decided to make the next batch in cupcake liners. In my opinion, these looked much more like lava cakes since we could dig a spoon into the cake and be rewarded with the ooey gooey chocolate I was craving all along. (Unfortunately, I was too excited to take a picture of this, so you’ll have to take my word for it.)

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Attempt #2: Making churro lava cakes in cupcake liners

I think if I were to make these again, I’d either try spooning some churro batter in before the ganache and then pouring more churro batter on top. (Because it’s not like using smaller spoonfuls of ganache is really an option…)

– Kunali

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