Play Hot Lava Inspires Chocolate and Caramel Lava Tart Recipe


Author: Shap Malek

I recently met up with Play Hot Lava at Portland Brew in Nashville for some coffee and conversation about all things food and music. Specializing in power pop guaranteed to take you on a journey of music inspired by Big Star, Cheap Trick, the Pretenders, Patty Griffin and REM. According to the band, principal songwriter and bass player Craig Anderson began working with guitarist Casey Pollock as backing-musicians-for-hire for a roster of country artists in Nashville, TN. With the addition of drummer Keefer Dickerson, the trio began working on arrangements for Anderson’s original rock songs.

Once the tunes had wheels, they needed a voice to drive them. Lead singer Tracee Perrin was added to the mix and Play Hot Lava was born.


Noshing on some muffins and coffee from Portland Brew was the perfect combination for Play Hot Lava, who proudly admit to drinking gallons of coffee when writing and recording their music. Coffee is the foundational staple for Play Hot Lava when rehearsing, writing and recording. And after playing their third live show, Play Hot Lava won first place in the Nashville Neighborhood Battle of the Bands with a grand prize of recording at the famed Blackbird Studios in Nashville where they recorded their debut single, “Between The This & The That.”


The music of Play Hot Lava will instantly remind you of blasting your music loud in the car while taking a joy ride on a sunny day. Simply good music from exceptionally talented musicians and songwriters paired with the powerful voice of Tracee Perrin. The harmonies , guitar from Casey Pollock, drums from Keefer Dickerson and writing from Craig Anderson set Play Hot Lava’s music ablaze with a forceful combination that flows to their listeners.


When Play Hot Lava decided to release their music , they decided to speak the language of true music appreciation with a vinyl 7-inch record. The record includes unconventional yet catchy, “Plaid Blimp TV Show” as the B-side, and the poignant,”Lonely As A Baseball Field (In The Wintertime)” available as a downloadable bonus track in addition to debut single,”Between The This & The That”. By the way…their debut single , “Between The This & The That”, is set for official release on June 10th. Be sure to contribute to this dying breed of good bands with true talent and quality music and purchase the single.


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Now on to the food !!!

I knew the moment I was going to feature Play Hot Lava that a Lava Cake of some sort was necessary for this band. Yet, I didn’t want to just create the same ole’ Lava Cake we always see, because quite frankly…this ain’t your run of the mill band ( sorry the Nashville in me came out there…lol). Play Hot Lava flows good music and flavor much like a Chocolate Lava Cake, yet ,their style is truly classic like good slice of pie. Thus, beginning my hunt for the perfect Lava Tart recipe where I finally found great inspiration at The Sugar Hit !

This recipe combines a mousse-like chocolate cake oozing with caramel all held together with a traditional pie crust. YES YES YES ! Between the this and the that you get cake , lava and pie all wrapped into one decadent yet standard dessert that is the perfect pairing to Play Hot Lava’s power pop tunes.


Chocolate and Caramel Lava Tart

8 Individual Tarts

Ingredients :

– 2 Sheets of Store Bought Pie Crust
– 4 ounces Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate ( If you can’t find Ghirardelli..please be sure to get at least 60% cocoa)
– 3 Tablespoons Butter
– 4 Tablespoons Sugar
– Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce ( if you can’t find Ghirardelli..please be sure to buy good caramel sauce that has milk and cream ingredients )
– 2 Eggs
– 2 Tablespoons Flour



1) First, we will begin with the pastry crusts. Lightly spray or grease a 12 cup standard muffin tin. Using a 4-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out eight 4-inch circles out of the pie crust. Then firmly press them into the individual muffin cups.

2) Place the pastry crusts in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the crusts for 15 minutes until golden and cooked through ; be sure to poke a few holes in the bottom of each of the crust circles prior to putting them in the oven.

3) While the tarts are baking, get to work on the chocolate cake filling. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small bowl either in microwave with 30 second intervals or with a double boiler. Then stir the flour and sugar into the chocolate mixture.

4) Whip the eggs with a hand blender for about 5 minutes until lightly colored and airy. Pour the eggs into the chocolate and slowly fold together until mixed well.

5) Pour one teaspoon of caramel sauce into each tart crust and top with the chocolate cake batter.

6) Bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool for 3 minutes and then serve immediately warm with ice cream, fruit or whipped cream or all of the above !


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