Sweet of the Week: Chocolate Lava Cake With Passion Fruit Ice Cream at Tokio Pub

Chocolate Lava Cake: 

There's a lot I would do in order to satisfy my tiki cravings. Such as field trip through a terrifying storm and face possible death. This week I attended a luau dinner at Tokio Pub in Schaumburg, where monthly themed dinners are de rigeur and the atmosphere is vivacious and fun enough to distract you from your day-to-day monotony. Knowing that tiki drinks and tropical eats would be out in full-force, I was more than willing to risk being destroyed by a tornado in order to venture to Schaumburg amidst torrential storms on Monday. Along with spiced popcorn, roast pork, tiki drinks, and other beachy eats, one of the standout dishes on the menu was a molten chocolate lava cake (apropos for the tropical Hawaiian vibe) with passion fruit ice cream, a dreamy finale to an exotic degustation. 

Chocolate lava cake with passion fruit ice cream
(Chocolate lava cake at Tokio Pub)

Molten lava cake is a dessert so rooted in Americana nostalgia that it has managed to trickle down the pipeline into mainstream chains and grocery stores. Despite the moderate drudgery of lava cake by major corporations, a good lava cake is still worth seeking out and inhaling. It should be warm and steamy on the inside, with just a gentle gooey flow to it, like hot pudding. The exterior should still be firm and cake-y, encasing all that goodness within. Together, it's fudgy and decadent, like a dense portion of hot fudge. That's why it's essential to round out the cake with something fruity to balance. Such as passion fruit ice cream. I love the flavors of the tropics juxtaposed against intense chocolate cakes. They work harmoniously in a yin and yang format. At Tokio Pub, their passion fruit ice cream was luscious and tangy, providing the perfect pop against the warm cake beneath it. To round out the plate, there were a few candied macadamia nuts to further drive home the island theme and lend a bit of crunch to the dish. 

- Matt Kirouac