*Please see recipe added below.

Once these, the long legged days of August saunter in, I find it impossible to focus on anything other than gallivanting about. But who can blame me? With peach festivals, Rotary-sponosed rib cookoffs, world-class food fairs, you can understand my distraction.

Case in point. When you find yourself making espresso-laced versions of (almost kitch) molten lava cakes, for the simple reason that it is Tuesday night and it is a gorgeously cool evening, you know that you are lost.

Though my school days are a distant memory, my thoughts have turned towards notions of holidays and diversion, of idle pastimes and fleeting pleasures. But lest you think I have abandoned all thoughts of responsibility, I shall be taking you all along with me on a little field trip to St. Jacobs later this week. We will wander through aisles upon aisles of antiques, take a gander at local artisans and gather up armfuls of gorgeous produce, baked goods and specialty meats from the farmer's market.

My apologies for my absence, but please don't turn me in.

Espresso and chocolate fondants
My variation of these recipes.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pots
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup caster sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease 4 x 150ml ramekins with butter (see note).

In a double boiler, or a bowl placed over a pan of just simmering water, melt the butter and chocolates together. Stir to ensure even and gentle melting of the chocolate; when just melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, espresso, vanilla and sugar until the mixture becomes thick and slightly pale in colour. Add the cooled chocolate, whisking to blend well. Finally, stir in the flour until just combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins; bake on a baking sheet for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are crevassed and cracked while the oozing underneath. Cool only for a moment and serve hot.


• I use these little 150ml pots that I'm terribly fond of as the cakes will soufflé up just a bit and offer a charmingly springy top. However, you can also use a slightly larger ramekin (though I would not go larger than 250ml or 1 cup) for a denser, more deeply cracked fondant.