A Burger Throwdown, Flourless Chocolate Cake and Creme Brulee

Tonight lobster and I had a few friends over for a "Burger Throwdown!" When you have two competitive cooks in the kitchen, things can get a bit ugly. I had to keep an eye on my burgers just in case the Fisherman tried to sabotage them. He came with his game face and tried to win everyone over by putting bacon, balsamic glazed onions, guacamole and melted cheddar cheese on his burgers. Homeboy even brought his own buns - he was that serious! Clearly he was in it to win it! Alas, sadly there could only be one winner. We tallied up the votes and by unanimous decision, the winner was: guess whooooooooooooo........ME! Haha (applause, applause) "thank you, thank you!" Well, to be fair the Fisherman did receive one vote - does it count if you vote for yourself? ^_^ Even the fisherman's wife voted for my burger...so kind she is. I was excited to be crowned the coveted title of: "the queen of burgers" since his was delicious too. It was a great night full of laughs, glutinous eating and some bomb-ass food.

Token and his wife made a few treats as well and they were NUM! Wifey made a flourless chocolate cake, creme brulee, and some delicious breakfast muffins for us to eat the next morning on top of all the glutinous food we took in from the night before. Who couldn't use more butter and sugar in their diet? For the creme brulee she even brought her own torch and made the crispy, crunchy caramelized top. That's the best part in my opinion - when you stick your fork into the top and you here that CRACK from the burnt sugar...mmmmm. I love guests who bring a plethora of food, especially when it involves a light as a cloud chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was sinfully delicious and the perfect ending to a wonderful meal. What a great group of friends to have for a fabulous dinner...LOVE IT!!!

Chocolate Cracked Earth (Flourless Chocolate Cake)
Serves 6 to 8
Adapted from Tyler Florence

* 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
* 1 stick unsalted butter*
* 9 large eggs, separated
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
* 2 cups heavy cream, cold
* Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) and heat over (but not touching) about 1-inch of simmering water until melted. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs - this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate; then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan.

(She had to bake it an extra 10 minutes)

While the cake is cooking, make the whipped cream. Whip the cream until it becomes light and fluffy.

Serve at room temperature dusted with confectioners' and the whipped cream.

Creme Brulee

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Makes 5 to 6 servings

* 1 extra-large egg
* 4 extra-large egg yolks
* 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
* 3 cups heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.