Thursday, February 17, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cake


Now this one is for serious chocolate fans! This dessert may be a bit too heavy for other people, but it is a dream for real chocolate lovers!.. You take a piece of the cool, creamy topping, a piece of the chocolate cake and a little bit of the warm, oozing center onto your spoon at the same time... And it is heaven in your mouth...

The trick with this delicate dessert is that in order to get this "molten" effect you slightly undercook the cake, so that while the edges bake and build a wall for the center, the center stays runny. You really should serve it very quickly, otherwise the center would continue to cook and not be flowing out; I don't care how your party is going on, do not put this cake in the oven until you make sure your guests have finished eating everything else and are sitting at the table, ready for dessert..:)
The nice part is that you can prepare the individual cakes a few hours before and keep them in the fridge until it's time to bake them.

I personally like topping it with "unsweetened" mascarpone cheese or "unsweetened" whipped cream to balance out the strong chocolate flavor. Some people prefer vanilla ice cream topping, melting away with the heat of the cake...


Ingredients: (Serves 8 = 8 x 6 oz-ovenproof ramekins)

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips OR 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips and 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks (preferably pasteurized eggs - Recommended brand: Davidson's)
  • 3 whole eggs (preferably pasteurized eggs - Recommended brand: Davidson's)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar; plus extra to dust the ramekins
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • Whipped cream or mascarpone cheese or vanilla ice cream, for topping
  • No-stick cooking spray or butter to oil the ramekins

Directions:

  • Spray inside of the ramekins with no-stick cooking spray or oil with butter. Pour about a tablespoon sugar into each ramekin and turn them in your hand, so sugar moves around inside the ramekin and coats the bottom and the sides. Pour out excess sugar.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Whisk sugar and eggs with an electric mixer's whisk attachment until pale yellow and fluffy, 2-5 minutes.
  • Sift flour into sugar mixture and blend with the whisk attachment for 3 minutes.
  • Add and incorporate chocolate mixture into sugar mixture with a spatula; then whisk for 2 more minutes.
  • Pour batter into ramekins, dividing evenly. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or a few more hours, if you need the time).
  • Preheat oven to 475 F. Bake ramekins on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, or until they are puffed up and don't jiggle when moved.
  • Using your oven gloves and being extra gentle, run a knife around the inside wall of each ramekin to loosen the cake and invert it onto a dessert plate. Serve immediately, with the desired topping. (You can also serve this dessert in ramekins, straight from the oven; put the topping into the ramekin and dig in!)

Additional points:

  • Instead of granulated sugar, you can also dust the ramekins with confectioner's/powdered sugar or cocoa powder.
  • Do not focus on the baking time, but the result, the "molten" look you want to get. This is a delicate dessert that should not be undercooked and/or overcooked. 10 minutes in my oven may equal 8 minutes in yours, and 14 minutes in someone else's oven. So, you should definitely try this recipe a few times before you serve it to guests.

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