Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soft in the middle--Molten Chocolate Cakes

In my last year of medical school, we were required to do a month in the Emergency Room.  I would get frustrated sometimes when I wasn’t as thorough as I should have been in my physical exam or I didn’t consider every possible diagnosis.  One awesome attending that I worked with, an oddball of sorts who would wear camouflage hunting shirts underneath his white coat and would blast Train songs in the workroom, always reassured me: “You’re not supposed to know everything.  If you did, you wouldn’t have to go to medical school, and then do residency.  You’re like a muffin in the oven.  You just haven’t cooked yet.  You’re soft on the inside.”

If I’m soft on the inside this is how I feel:

After four days of residency, I definitely need more time in the oven.  This month I’m working in the Women’s Emergency Room, which is mostly gynecology and first trimester obstetrics.  It’s definitely a “learning on the job” kind of place.  Fortunately the second year resident I’m working with knows a lot and is helping me a ton and the nurses are very forgiving.   It’s amazing how much nicer people are to you when you can sign orders and write prescriptions.  (It’s also amazing that I can write prescriptions.)

So, all in all, work is scary at times and frustrating at times, but residency is awesome.  I finally get to do what I want to do and my patients consider me their doctor.  And, I also get days off, like today, to bake yummy lava cakes.   Sometimes it’s good to be soft in the middle, as long as you stop and reflect on it and get yourself cookin’.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

From Bon Appetit January 2001

5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Vanilla ice cream

Fresh rasberries

For cakes:  
Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter six 3/4-cup soufflĂ© dishes or custard cups. Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted. Cool slightly. Whisk eggs and egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Whisk in sugar, then chocolate mixture and flour. Pour batter into dishes, dividing equally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Bake cakes until sides are set but center remains soft and runny, about 11 minutes or up to 14 minutes for batter that was refrigerated. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Immediately turn cakes out onto plates.  Serve with ice cream and rasberries.


  1. Hey there,
    Nice post! You need to change the wording in your Ob cookie cartoon above to reflect that you ARE a doctor now! :)