Chocolate molten cakes

Chocolate lava for chocolate lovers

Originally appeared in the November 10, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

My wife said, “You should do something sweet.”  But just as I leaned in to give her a kiss, she said, “No—I mean something sweet for your column.”  So, dear reader, here we are.  Read more after the jump:Technically speaking, I’m not cooking, I’m baking.  Still, akin to cooking, this recipe requires a fair amount of culinary judgment and a keen eye for how food behaves.  One of the tricky elements is the “molten” component.  The goal is to produce a cakey exterior, while maintaining the chocolaty, lava-like core; so you have to leave the batter alone long enough to bake, but remove the ramekins from the oven early enough to achieve this confection contrast.

Another thing—you can make a few substitutions to give this a (don’t giggle) healthy twist.  Eggs provide moisture and act as an emulsifier, but they’re high in fat.  To replace them, use ¼ cup of tofu for each egg (including yolks).  Zero-calorie sugar substitutes are also a sneaky way to curve some of the guilt associated with ostensibly decadent recipes.

Regardless, the ingredients are minimal, the procedure is basic, and the result will likely earn you some appreciative kisses from someone sweet in your life.

Chocolate molten cakes

Makes 4 cakes

  • 3 large, cage-free eggs
  • 3 large, cage-free yolks
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (or zero-calorie sugar substitute), sifted
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 4 medium-sized ramekins
  • As needed, butter for greasing ramekins

1.  Preheat conventional oven to 380° F.  Thoroughly grease ramekins with butter, set aside.

2.  In a mixer with whip attachment, briefly whisk eggs and yolks.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar and flour.  On the stove, bring some water to a boil in a saucepan; add chocolate and butter to a clean, dry bowl, and place bowl over top of the saucepan (this is called a double boiler).  Allow butter and chocolate to melt together.

3.  Add chocolate to eggs, and whisk in flour-sugar mixture until incorporated.  Pour batter into prepared ramekins (about three-quarters up sides); place ramekins on a sheetpan and place in oven.  Depending on ramekin size and oven calibration, bake for approximately 15-20 minutes.

4.  Check for doneness—insert a toothpick:  sides should be spongey, and center should be liquid.  Remove from oven, allow to cool and set-up for several minutes before severing with ice cream (low fat, of course).

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