Monday, February 8, 2010
They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day. Actually, they’re just plain perfect. Chocolaty, hot, and over-the-top indulgent, these Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes ooze (pun intended) sex appeal. The only trouble is, they’re so luscious you may not want to share, not even with your sweetheart.
At one time, chocolate cakes with a molten center were all the rage on restaurant menus. But they never go out of style—they’re like the little black dress of the dessert world. And now that I think about it, I’m noticing another trend: Valentine’s Day inevitably makes me think of warm, melty chocolate—just check out this Chocolate Fondue for Two with Strawberries.
So happy Valentine’s Day everybody! And even if you don’t do Valentine’s Day, you’ve gotta try these cakes!
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, diced, plus more for greasing the ramekins
¾ ounce cornstarch
10 ounces sugar
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Generously butter 8 large ramekins. Combine the semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in a medium bowl, place the bowl over a small pan of simmering water, and heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Whisk together the cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, yolks, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Divide among the ramekins and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Bake the cakes for 24 to 26 minutes, or until the tops dome and just set. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve as is, or to unmold, using pot holders, carefully invert each ramekin onto a dessert plate.
Makes 8 individual cakes. One of the most decadent chocolate desserts ever, and also one of the easiest to make. As the cakes bake, the edges will rise. As soon as the dimple in the center of each cake puffs up and sets, they’re ready. Leave the cakes in the oven any longer, and the centers will bake through and no longer be molten. Batter may be prepared and portioned into ramekins several days in advance and kept covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Bake just before serving. This means you can conveniently bake a couple of cakes at a time and save the rest for another day. Serve with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.