Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cake

The first Valentine's Day menu item we'd like to share with you is our Molten Chocolate Cake. Why not start with dessert?! :)


Molten chocolate cake is known by a number of names: chocolate lava cake, fallen chocolate cake, or just plain gooey chocolaty heaven (at least that's what I think of it). It has an intense buttery-chocolate flavor and a pudding-like center that is "something altogether ethereal" as Cook's Illustrated puts it.


Molten Chocolate cake is really quite simple to make and has a pretty short list of ingredients (as all really good chocolate desserts go in my book--who would want to detract from the perfection of a nice dark chocolate flavor?)

To make the cakes, you first melt some nice bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate and some butter.



Then, beat eggs, vanilla, sugar and a pinch of salt together until the volume increases, it becomes light in color and the mixture drops from the beaters in a smooth, thick stream.



Combine the melted chocolate with the egg mixture until it becomes a uniform color.



Ladle into ramekins, cook, and enjoy!

One of the best parts about preparing this dessert at home (besides getting to eat it whenever you want!) is that after the batter has been poured into the ramekins it can be refrigerated for up to 8 hours before being cooked. So, you can prepare it ahead of time and enjoy cooking dinner without being stressed about getting everything on the table.



Molten Chocolate Cakes
Serves 4

1 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c. granulated sugar
Confectioners’ sugar or unsweetened cocoa for dusting (opt.)
Whipped cream for serving (opt.)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°. Generously grease and flour four ramekins. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, stirring once or twice, until smooth; remove from the heat. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave by heating the chocolate alone at 50% power for 2 minutes; stir the chocolate, add the butter, and continue heating at 50% for another 2 minutes, stopping to stir after 1 minute.)

2. Beat the eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt, and granulated sugar with a mixer until the volume nearly triples, the color is very light, and the mixture drops form the beaters in a smooth, thick stream—about 5 minutes. Scrape the egg mixture over the melted chocolate and butter; sprinkle the flour over the egg mixture. Gently fold the egg and flour into the chocolate until the mixture is a uniform color. Ladle or pour the batter into the prepared ramekins. (At this point, the cakes can be covered lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Return to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.)

3. Bake until the cakes looks puffed, a thin top crust as formed, and the center jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken gently, about 12-13 minutes. Molten chocolate cakes are traditionally very “molten” in the middle. I cooked mine a bit longer so it was more moist than molten. Run a paring knife around the inside edge of the ramekins and invert onto serving plates. Sieve a light sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar over the cake to decorate, if desired, just before serving and serve warm with optional whipped cream and berries.




 

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5 comments:

  1. I could eat just that for my Valentines meal and be a happy camper :). Delicious! MiriamMeatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  2. Your cake looks wonderful. I love molten chocolate cake- or anything chocolate for that matter :)

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  3. we love molten cakes at our house. I've never paired them with cherries, though - YUM! We'll have to try this version.

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  4. I love molten cakes. I might have to make this tomorrow night. Yum.

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  5. Hi Jaime, your cakes look YUM! I headed over from Savory & Sweet and can't get over how similar our recipes are! I love the idea of fresh cherries with it. Delish.

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