I will always associate big ship cruising with culinary indulgence. This, like all major life lessons, I learned from my parents. We took a few cruises while I was growing up, and I’ll never forget how my dad ordered his courses each night.
The actual items he ordered, I no longer remember. I do, however, remember the two key words: “followed by,” as in “cream of broccoli, followed by Caesar salad, followed by stuffed mushrooms, followed by filet mignon, followed by scallops, followed by chocolate cake a la mode.”
I replayed this childhood memory during a recent sailing on the Carnival Imagination from its new home port of Long Beach, Calif. In the span of two days, I managed to eat three servings of Carnival’s famous warm chocolate melting cake — that means I ate one serving before lunch time. In my defense, I had just learned how to make the chocolate cake in a private tutorial with the kitchen staff. Declining a sample would have been rude — another lesson I learned from my folks.
Carnival Imagination’s head chef explains that each night, Carnival prepares two vats of chocolate cake. // © 2014 Mindy Poder
Though a potentially dangerous recipe to have lying around for daily dinners, the warm chocolate melting cake can be a great tool for travel agents who want to treat prospective clients to a sample of Carnival’s culinary offerings.
The following recipe yields four individual servings, but be sure to make extra. Whether a marathoner or a grazer, everyone seems to be able to make room to “follow” their meals with a serving of this cake — in fact, each Carnival ship serves an average of 900 warm chocolate melting cakes per day.
6 oz. dark chocolate (Pro-tip: Carnival uses dark chocolate bars sourced from Lucerne, Switzerland)
6 oz. butter (Pro-tip: Carnival uses Anchor unsalted butter from New Zealand)
4 eggs (one per serving)
1.5 oz. sugar
2 oz. flour
- Melt the chocolate and butter
- Whisk the eggs and sugar for a few minutes, then add flour
- Add the egg mix to the melted chocolate, mix and stir
- Pour the mix in individual ramekins
- Bake directly in the oven at 390 F for 14 minutes (Pro-tip: If you’d like the edges to be a bit crispier, leave the cake in longer. If you prefer gooey chocolate cake, take it out sooner.)
Make sure that the eggs are at room temperature and that chocolate is warm enough while making the mixture.
Don’t forget to serve with vanilla ice cream and a fruit garnish. This dessert pairs well with coffee.