Saturday, December 8, 2012

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

                                                                         
                                                                            
If the name doesn't already suggest deliciousness to you, your taste buds must not be functioning right. Don't mind me, my name is Stella and I am a chocoholic-unashamedly so :). When you first cut into this cake, it weeps-in chocolate. Yes, out of the center of this cake, erupts warm, ooey, gooey, shiny chocolate. Now, what's not to love about that?!? The cake is meant to be eaten warm, and is best served with some ice-cream. The warmth from the cake melts the ice-cream and bathes the cake in this vanilla goodness that as it drizzles down, combines with the molten chocolate to create a swirl of all things sacred in the world of flavor. The cake is super moist and almost melts in your mouth. To say that this cake is a chocolate-lover's dream would be an understatement! Why go to a fancy-pants restaurant and pay big bucks for this when you can prepare it at home and wow your family and guests? Don't say I never shared anything with you-here's the recipe..
 
SERVING SIZE: 4
 
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
 
-4 ramekins (small bowls in which you'll bake your cake).
-Baking sheet.
-Whisk.
-Pastry brush.
-Small strainer.
 

INGREDIENTS:

- Granulated sugar, for the ramekins.
-1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter. 
-1/2 bag (6-ounces) of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiardelli brand. You can find this in the baking aisle of the grocery store).
-3 eggs.
-3 egg yolks.
-1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar).
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour (sifted).
 
TO GARNISH:
 
-1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) for dusting the completed cake.
-Ice-cream (I prefer vanilla ice-cream for this cake).
 
INSTRUCTIONS:
 
***Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. ***

-Melt 1/4 stick of butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
-Use your pastry brush to paint the inside of the 4 ramekins with butter. Coat the inside of each ramekin with granulated sugar and set aside. (Sprinkle the granulated sugar in the ramekin and roll the ramekin around as you hold it, and this will help to evenly distribute the sugar. Pour the excess sugar into the next ramekin and repeat the process until they are all coated).
-Put the remaining 1 stick of butter and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Sit the bowl on a small saucepan 1/4 way filled with boiling water (about 1 inch of water). Be sure that the bowl is not touching the water or your chocolate will burn. Gently stir the butter and the chocolate together until melted and the mixture is smooth. Turn off the heat and set the melted chocolate/butter aside.

                                                                   
-Combine the eggs, egg-yolks, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl (his can also be done with a cake mixing machine). Beat the egg mixture with a whisk until it doubles in size, and gets very thick and very pale.
                                                                           
                                                                                 
-Slowly introduce the chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs by gently whisking the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture.  This is called "tampering" (see image below). Do this a little at a time and whisk vigorously, or you will end up with scrambled chocolate eggs-YUCK!

                                                                           
-Gently stir in the flour until there are no white streaks visible. Do not over mix or you will end up with brownies instead of a molten chocolate cake. 

 
-Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins (3/4 way up the ramekins to leave room for the cake to rise).
 
 
-Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and be sure to leave some space between the ramekins (see image below). Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
 
                                                                            

-Use a butter knife or an offset spatula to loosen the edges of the cake away from the ramekin by gently circling the edges of the cake. Be careful or you might puncture the cake and cause the molten chocolate to leak.
-Take your serving plate and cover the top of the ramekin, then gently invert (turn the cake upside-down on the serving plate and gently lift the ramekin to release the cake). 
-Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar and place a scoop of ice-cream over the top of the cake and enjoy!!!