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.
I am way too attracted to chocolate and sweets in general. In fact, I empathize with a Lithuanian chocolate maker, who described himself as a chocolate lunatic. Subsequently I’ve decided lunatic is a bit harsh – as a friend pointed out – it’s more of a chocolate spectrum disorder.
Everyone’s making molten chocolate cakes, also known as chocolate lava cakes, or in England as chocolate fondant. All the recipes are just a slight variation on the theme – much of a muchness.
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 to cook these to the point they become regular, ordinary chocolate cupcakes. Oven temperatures do vary so there is some judgement involved in when to take them out. If you’re in doubt about your oven you can buy an inexpensive oven thermometer at most hardware stores to verify the accuracy of your oven’s temperature.
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.
Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes
4 tbsp butter
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 9 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream, or whipped cream, or au naturel.