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Molten Chocolate Cake

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004A bar of bittersweet chocolate has been mocking me in the pantry for months.  Bake me!  Bake me!  It cries.  I’ve taken it out at least four times only to find myself too worn out to create yet another set of dishes.  Some how the idea of cleaning the Kitchen Aid and a double boiler just always seems like too much of an event.  Plus baking takes such concentration, such focus.  And recipe searches.  And more recipe searches.  So we ordered pizza and I cooked dessert.  Not a bad trade off.

Molten chocolate cake is like a less healthy version of a chocolate souffle [2].  Not that chocolate souffle would meet all your nutritional needs, but it might get you through an extra day in the Hunger Games [3].  Let’s hope it provides me with enough energy to finish the book tonight.

I used the Ghirardelli recipe since it was a Ghirardelli bar I had on hand.  And it turned out deliciously.  Perfectly melted in the center and light and crisp on the outside.  Mine didn’t turn out quite as pretty when inverted, but nothing a little powdered sugar sprinkling couldn’t overcome.  Make sure you evenly butter and sugar sprinkle your ramekins if you’re a dessert presentation perfectionist.  And in my experience, since I seem to only have a hodge podge assortment of ramekins these days, a smaller diameter with a deeper depth ensures the best inverted presentation.

Molten Chocolate Cake

2 tbsps butter for greasing

2 tbsps sugar for coating

4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, broken into small pieces

1 stick butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1/3 c. sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cake flour

Preheat oven to 450.  Use a paper towel with a tablespoon of butter to grease four small ramekins.  Use additional butter if necessary to ensure a uniform coating on all surfaces.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar in first ramekin, turn slowly to coat, pouring remaining sugar into the next ramekin.  Add sugar as needed to evenly coat each of  the four ramekins.

In a double boiler on medium low heat, melt chocolate pieces and butter over barely simmering water.  Check water occasionally to ensure you are not reaching a boil.  Stir after mixture begins to melt, then heat until thoroughly melted.  Remove top portion of double boiler, let cool slightly.

In a stand mixer, mix whole eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla on high speed for 10 minutes until you have soft peeks.  Fold chocolate mixture into egg mixture with a spatula using very gentle strokes to maintain volume. When a uniform color appears, add flour and fold until just combined.  Pour mixture evenly into four ramekins and bake 9 and a half minutes.  Remove from oven, let stand five minutes.  Use a knife to circle edges of ramekin, then invert molten cake onto a plate.  Garnish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a fresh berry of your choice.  Serve immediately!