chocolate spectrum disorder: individual molten chocolate cakes

September 27, 2012

It’s been a while since my last chocolate post – a decent and reasonable amount of time – safe for a new chocolate recipe, I think.

If you saw my earlier post entitled, “chocolate lunacy” and the recipe for no-bake dark chocolate and peanut butter squares (see archives July 2012), you’ll know that I am addicted to chocolate. In fact, I empathized with a Lithuanian chocolate-maker who is a self-described chocolate lunatic. Subsequently I’ve decided lunatic is a bit harsh – as a friend pointed out – it’s more of a chocolate spectrum disorder.

I’ve been eye-balling these individual molten chocolate cakes for a while. Everyone’s making them – from Nigella to Canadian chef Michael Smith, to Martha. I read the recipes and the reviews. Michael Smith’s were apparently too eggy. And they have no flour which made me wary. Martha’s had mixed reviews from sublime to “I wasted all that chocolate.” Nigella’s reviews look suspiciously edited and scanty both in number and content. Not one person had a flop. Really? Even Martha leaves the flop comments on her site. “These look good,” just isn’t all that convincing Nigella.

I tried a variation of the theme. I used fewer eggs than Michael Smith’s recipe. I used a small amount of flour. Unlike Martha who had an elaborate method for buttering and sugaring her pans, I just used jumbo muffin liners. Truthfully, all of the recipes are much of a muchness. The thing I’m most excited about is that we just got Hershey’s Chipits DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS in Canada. Hurray! At 50% cocoa – rest assured – you’re not making dessert – you’re serving up antioxidants. It’s all good.

So go ahead – make some molten chocolate cakes  secure in the knowledge you’re doing the right thing. The first time I made them, I was visiting a friend for a belated birthday get-together. We had them with Kir Royales. My favourite drink. Both the chocolate cakes and the drinks were perfect –and a great combination.

But I forgot to photograph them. So I made them again almost immediately, only I didn’t whip them out of the oven soon enough and they weren’t so fabulously molten.

Now I’m making them a third time in very short order – hopefully this time I’ll get them right AND remember to take a photograph.

I would say the secret to perfect molten cakes is to use your timer. Whip them out of the oven as soon as the timer goes off. It’s a little tricky because you don’t really want to serve raw batter (and therefore raw eggs) but you don’t want cook these to the point they become a regular, ordinary chocolate cupcakes.  Oven temperatures do vary so there is some judgement involved in when to take them out. But for molten cakes you only want the top of the cakes to be just set. If anything, err on the side of under-cooking. Remove the cakes from the oven at the point that the top is just solid and a little risen. If you were to press down on the top – the impression of your fingerprint should remain in the cakes. (So skip this step!) The tops may be cracked and they may collapse when you take them out. That’s perfect.

Don’t let all this put you off. Make the molten chocolate cakes asap.

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes

4 tbsp butter (or margarine for dairy-free version)

1/3 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt

1 cup dark (bittersweet or semi-sweet) chocolate chips, melted gently

2 tbsp dark chocolate chips, extra

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin pan with 6 jumbo muffin liners.

Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Add vanilla.

Combine the flour, salt, and cocoa. If necessary sieve into the egg mixture (necessary only if your cocoa is slightly lumpy). Mix gently. Stir in the melted chocolate. Do not over mix.

Place a tablespoonful or so of batter into muffin liner. Add a few of the extra chocolate chips. Top with batter. Repeat until batter is used – should make about 6 molten cakes.

Bake for 10 minutes (max).

Serve warm with ice cream, or whipped cream, or au naturel. These are good for whatever ails you even if nothing ails you – consider them preventative medicine.

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24 Comments

  • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer September 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    This one looks incredible, cannot wait to try it!!!!

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Jennifer – this is my latest absolute favourite favourite thing. I feel better even thinking about them! xo

  • Reply Dave More September 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Such a gorgeous website and amazingly mouth-watering writing. Kudos, once again, Lindy!

    cheers, Dave

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      David More – you are so fabulous. Thank you. I’m still remembering our beautiful back porch patio and your fabulous tortiere. All best always – Lindy

  • Reply aodonovan September 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Finally a diagnosis. Is there a chocolate spectrum disorder support group? Oh wait…this is it! Thank you for the delicious counselling, Lindy!

  • Reply Susan Tyerman September 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Fabulous ………………thank you my dear Lindy!

    Susan xo

    Tyerman.jpgSusan Tyerman

    Sales Representative

    Sutton Group-Masters Realty Inc

    1650 Bath Rd

    Kingston, ON K7M 4X6

    Cell: (613) 329-1077

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 27, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      thank you Susan – think you’d love these. We should get together and cook…. xox

  • Reply Karen Rudie September 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    As the recipient of Lindy’s molten chocolate cakes last weekend I can attest to their truly heavenly nature!

  • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Karen – sweet thing – I still owe you birthday lunch. xox

  • Reply Elly September 28, 2012 at 12:17 am

    This post made me laugh! Is there also a candy spectrum disorder? Actually, let’s just admit it, I’m definiately a full-blown candy lunatic.

    These sound delish. Cute post mumma!
    Love you xoxo

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 28, 2012 at 7:17 am

      Canadian chef Michael Smith made a white chocolate version Elly! I’ll make them for you soon. xoxoxoxoxo

  • Reply beverleyanderson September 28, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I love chocolate molton cakes…..as do my guests. I make chocolates at Christmas time. Sometimes successfully. Do you make chocolates? (cherry chocolates in molds, turtles, among others). I need some good tips. Thanks, in advance. Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 22:22:04 +0000 To: beverleyanderson@sympatico.ca

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 28, 2012 at 7:33 am

      Hi Beverley – this made me laugh – especially the “sometimes successfully” bit. Sounds like you could probably advise me on the chocolate-making though – it’s been years since I made any.
      Are you in Kingston ever? If so – want to have coffee?

  • Reply Ruth Wood September 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I love “bittersweet”, not just the chocolate but also the term. It seems to be cropping up frequently for me these days. Such an apt term for my life at the moment. Being more of a cook than a baker I usually shy away from making dessert. But, as a lover of dark chocolate I am going to give these a try. Even if I over do the first batch I know they will get eaten.

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Sweet Ruth – I also love bittersweet – the chocolate, the plant, the word, sometimes even the feeling. xo

  • Reply Jessica September 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I want to cry reading this because it looks SO YUMMY, and I’m sitting here eating tasteless crackers.

  • Reply tonettejoyce October 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I love your sense of humor! Antioxidants, here we come!

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you!
      I actually prefer milk chocolate to dark but it’s lower in antioxidants – so I just have to eat more!

  • Reply Erinn @ www.more-sprinkles.com February 18, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    yum! my favorite!

  • Reply Kingston WritersFest and gasp – chocolate orgasm cakes | love in the kitchen ♥ October 1, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    […] In honour of Kim, I’m posting a recipe for gluten and dairy-free molten chocolate cakes(as close as I can get to reproducing the individual chocolate orgasm cakes served at the dinner she hosted).  For a non-gluten free version click here. […]

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