Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lava With Luv From The Chef's Table

Remember the old saying; 'There's no place like home?'  Well, after a week cruising in the Caribbean, I'm never using that phrase again! It was simply gorgeous.  The beach at Half Moon Cay was blindingly white and the water was clearer than our  swimming pools and doesn't require gallons of chlorine to stay that way.  Grand Turk was wonderful too, and we had some tasty local fare at the most popular dive on the island, Big Mum's. Caribbean Jerk Chicken and Stewed Pork Chops sure hit the spot after a late start and no breakfast.  Nassau was the least impressive of our stops, but it was still fun to explore the shops (until Smokin Hot found Tanzanite International) and watch people make idiot's of themselves at Sen`or Frogs.

Despite all the fun we had at every port-of-call, however, the highlight of our cruise was enjoying The Chef's Table on our second 'sea day'.  This culinary adventure consisted of a four hour, seven course, private dinner (limited to 12 people) with the Executive Chef of the Carnival Fantasy. In addition, we were treated to a galley tour, baking demo, chef prepared reception tasting, and a champagne toast before being seated in our private dining room.

Yes, I'm the only guy not in 'formal' attire. I do own a suit (despite being from small town S.C.), but had no intention or desire to lug it to the Caribbean. (Hey, at least I don't have tobacco stains on my shirt.)  Unfortunately, Carnival does not allow photography or videotaping in any of their shows or events, which included our galley tour and dinner.  However, they did share the recipe for their famous Warm Chocolate Melting Cake, so I'm kindly passing it along. But first, a look at what we were treated to:

Reception Tasting

Ahi Tuna Tartar w/ Wasabi Crisp
Duck Pot Sticker
Steak Taco
Avocado Cheesecake
 (bite size, wrapped in paper thin pastry like a present. Amazing)


Beef Carpaccio
Parmigiano, Balsamico Gelee

Fried Calamari
Charred Lime and Lemon Preserve

Fire Roasted Tomato and Pablano Chili Bisque
Grilled Corn & Cherry Tomato, Cilantro Drizzle

Chopped Mediterranean Salad
Shaved Pumpkin, Feta Cheese Crumble

Fillet of Chilean Sea Bass
Wine Stewed Shallots and Chives Vinaigrette, Leeks Emulsion, Peas Risotto

Aged Filet Mignon
Fried Leek & Onion Streusel, Homemade Three Pepper Mustard

Chocolate Melting Cake (from our demo)
Chocolate Mousse, Almond Cake with Marscopone Filling & Glucose Lattice
 Ice Cream, Coconut Ribbon

I know in many chef circles the 'Lava Cake' is past it's prime, but this is still the most popular dessert on the ship and I'm sure many would still love to know how it's done. So, here ya go...

Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
8 oz Dark Chocolate
6 oz Butter (Best Quality, High Fat)
4  Lg. Eggs
6 oz Sugar
2 oz Flour (a/p is fine)

-Melt the butter & chocolate together

-Mix the eggs and sugar and whisk for several minutes, then add the flour and incorporate

-Add the egg mix to the melted chocolate and mix together
-Pour into a greased mold(s)

-Bake directly in the oven at 390 F for 14 minutes

cool several minutes, then serve warm with fruit and/or ice cream. Top will be slightly 'crisp' with a rich , oozing center! Rich and delicious :-)

It's very rich and I require a huge glass of milk or coffee to eat a whole one. On a positive note, when Smokin Hot ate hers, she got a glimmer in her eye and said; 'This is definitely worthy...'   I think it's a keeper :)

Stay tuned for more cruise pictures. I promise to improve on my photo's soon!  Now, go make your own Lava with Luv!


  1. Alan!! What a feast!! That menu sounds delicious!! WOW. I can see you had a delicious time.

    Avocado Cheesecake!! Mmm.. Gotta try that.

    The lava cake is an all time favorite. It is my go to dessert for last minute dinner parties, always a hit.

  2. What a blast (lame pun intended!)... An incredible feast, indeed.
    Welcome home and thanks for sharing. - M.

  3. Wow, seriously? I am adding this to my Rewards List (for when I lose the first 10 pounds!) I've got some yummy chocolate and will make this! Thanks for sharing dear! SO happy you had a fun time!

  4. I'm no chef, but how and when is hot, oozing chocolatey cake EVER past its prime? ;) And way to leave us hanging with that ellipsis! Ha ha.

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. So envious of your gorgeous experience with the chef's menu! Aged filet mignon? Swoon.

    Felt the same way about 'home sweet home' after my Niagara excursion... but hope your first week home has been great!

  5. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Wow, what a trip (literally not the 70's term, LOL) and the food for sure is fabulous!

  6. I love this dessert! I see you used my favorite chocolate :)

    Have a wonderful weekend, so glad to visit your blog.

  7. Oh my goodness.. what a fabulous time! Even Senor Frog brought back memories. :)

  8. wow ! sounds like fun. the melting cake looks sinful :D

  9. I agree with you, no need to wear a suit in the Caribbean while on vacation :) why didn't u stop by the Dominican Republic? I would have made lunch for you: yummy okra and other healthy veggie dishes :D thank you for sharing this recipe, chocolate lava cake is a classic and an all time favorite :)

  10. Wow, the recipe is so easy, yet so decadent looking, love that! The special dinner looked amazing, and a beautiful variety:-) Sounds like you both had a lovely time!!!
    Hugs, Terra

  11. Menu looks amazing Alan. So fun and such a great recipe. Welcome back!

  12. Nice to see you back, especially after such a wonderful vacation:) I don't blame you for not taking a suit (women have much easier time with "formal" wear:)
    And I love, love, love chocolate lava cake!

  13. Aww...what a wonderful treat for a chocoholic! Lovely...can see you had a blast, Alan.


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