Author: Betty Crocker
Volcanic activity brings to mind many disastrous hi storic events such as Pompeii, Mount Saint Helen, or the ever-recent Icelandic ash eruption by the unpronounceable Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Perhaps the raw uncontrollable power of volcanoes has led to the human fascination with them. A fascination so perverse that we mimic volcanoes in the food we eat. Hibachi gills often feature an erupting, then smoldering onion ring volcano and dinner parties in the 80’s featured pudding based lava cakes for dessert. While perhaps a bit outdated, the premise of a lava cake can be used to modify caf desserts into something delectable.
Dichotomies of hot and cold, sweet and salty, spongy and firm, and to some extent chocolate and vanilla, vie for attention from your taste buds in this multi-ingredient concoction. The base begins with a chocolate cake, the best option being “Death by Chocolate”. After adding a dollop of fudge sauce from the toppings bar, heat the incomplete dessert in the microwave for at least a minute. From this point on, time is of the essence, so caf greetings must be given a rain check. Top with a dollop of any vanilla based hard ice cream (while the soft serve ice cream is a favorite among Dickinson students, its partially melted consistency will result in a soupy mess). Carefully but quickly slide your bowl or plate (for those daring or perchance pea-brained individuals) towards the toppings bar. Garnish with whipped cream, more fudge sauce, and something nutty- namely snickers, or for the purists, walnuts from the deli (assuming you are lucky enough visit the caf when the wrap of the day “contains nuts”). Speed walk through the maze of tables armed with a soupspoon (there is no possible way to enjoy this with a fork and the soup spoons are dangerously close to the sundae bar) back to your table of the day (assuming you have the hawk eyes or honing system to zero in on your ever changing home base). The marginal value of the first bite of your creation is ginormous but concurrent with the law of diminishing returns, each successive bite is slightly less divine. As time drags on, the continuum between the taste dichotomies becomes ever muddled as the ice cream melts into the cooling cake (and for those who chose the plate route, as the mess oozes onto the table). Words to the wise- forget what your mother said; wolf down this volcanic dessert to avoid an eruption of lava mess.
Until the next culinary craving,