In 2014, we bemused on the ways Cooking is a lot like making love.
In 2016, we played around with The Foods of Love.
And 2017 got personal with Happy Valentines Day – Let’s Be Friends
This year it’s all about chocolate. Oozy, boozy, silky and warm, here’s a recipe that is a lot easier than it looks. The hot lava cake trend left long ago, but the experience of eating it will never go out of fashion. This was my go-to dessert for years. It’s fast to assemble, and you can prepare the cakes a few days ahead of time, cover, and store in the fridge uncooked until you are ready to bake them.
The key when baking is to look for that soft center. When the edges are set, but the center still raw, remove the cakes quickly from the oven and flip to serve.
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
Makes 4 servings
3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 squares (4 ounces) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour
Unsweetened cocoa or all purpose flour for dusting
Strawberries or raspberries for garnish
Raspberry sauce for garnish (whisk a tablespoon of bourbon into this store-bought sauce if you like)
Mint for garnish
Powdered sugar for garnish
Vanilla Ice Cream
photo by LSIC
Melt the butter and chocolate together over a double boiler. Combine the eggs together and pour into the chocolate. Mix in the sugar and quickly beat in the flour until just combined.
Spray four, 4-inch aluminum dessert molds* with cooking spray and dust with sifted cocoa powder or flour.
Preheat oven to 450F. Bake for 6-9 minutes. Look for a 1-inch molten circle in the center of the cups before removing from oven. The center will be soft and the sides firm. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes. Use a knife to loosen the sides. Flip onto a plate or flat surface, then quickly re-flip on the service plate so the cakes faces top side up. The cake should be slightly under-cooked, so that when you cut into it the warm center oozes out.
Spoon raspberry sauce around the cake. Dust the top with powdered sugar and garnish with mint and strawberries or raspberries. Serve with a side of ice cream.
*4-inch aluminum dessert molds can be bought online, or use a disposable, aluminum cupcake tin and cut compartments apart after baking so you can invert onto a plate.