Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

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Love is in the air and for me that means chocolate is on the brain.  Ok who am I kidding, it's always on my brain.  Seriously, this is the third chocolate post in a row. I have been waiting to share this for that special occasion and with Valentines Day at the end of the week, I thought it was the perfect time. 

Chocolate cake with slightly crunchy edges and a gooey filling?? Mmmm-- Wipe the drool from the keyboard.  All the evils in the world (including this gosh forsaken winter) stop with one bite.  It is easy to prepare and it can even be made in advance before baking.  I add vanilla and espresso powder to boost the chocolate flavor to dangerous levels.  Want to make this dessert even better?  Add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream☺. 

♫"Oh I can't help falling in love with you." ♪♬
Printable Recipe

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
makes 4 cakes

1/2 cup (4-ounces) unsalted butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
2 extra large eggs
2 extra large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450º F.  Butter and flour four (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  Remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the vanilla and espresso powder.

In a separate medium bowl, beat together the eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt until thickened and pale, about 3-5 minutes.  Pour the chocolate mixture along with the flour into the egg mixture and mix until incorporated.  Evenly spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until the tops and the sides of the cakes are firm, but the center is still soft, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest for one minute.  Invert the cakes onto serving plates, let stand for 10 seconds, then un-mold. Serve immediately.  (Cakes can be prepared several hours or up to one day in advance and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature before baking.)  Enjoy! 

Source: Adapted from foodandwine.com


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