Saturday, April 18, 2009

Molten Chocolate Cake



I have wanted to make these for a long time but the thought of melting chocolate scared me. I never felt like I knew enough to make them. I kept whining to myself, "But I don't know hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow!!!!!" (I whine to myself a lot.)

I love chocolate, and it bugged the hell out of me that I couldn't make these for myself. I bit the bullet today because Graham loves dessert and I don't bake nearly as often as he would like. He's "used to fresh baked goods" as he says, and I thought that if I failed, at least I'd fail trying.

These weren't perfect, but they were a damn good first try. I know now what to do for attempt #2, which will probably be sometime during the summer when I'm bored and feel like baking.

Molten Chocolate Cakes
(From Recipezaar)

4 oz. (8 T.) butter, softened, plus a little extra
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate squares
Water
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 c. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 T. all purpose flour, plus a little extra

Preheat oven to 450 F. Butter and flour 4 ramekins with the extra butter and flour; tap out excess.

In a small sauce pan, bring a small amount of water to a simmer. Set butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and place bowl over the pot to create a double boiler. Stir chocolate and butter slowly but constantly until both are melted. Remove from heat.

Beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in mixer on high speed until pale and thick. Be careful not to overbeat. As eggs and sugar are beat together, whisk butter-chocolate mixture until smooth. Quickly fold chocolate and flour into egg mixture, being careful not to deflate the eggs. Fold mixture carefully until chocolate has completely incorporated into eggs.

Pour carefully into ramekins and place ramekins on baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes at 450 F. or until the sides of cake are high and firm but centers are soft. Be careful not to bake completely through.

When cakes are done, remove from oven and cool for 1 minute. Invert ramekins onto a small plate (run a knife around the edge to free the cake if necessary). Let sit inverted for a few moments to allow cake to unmold itself and let gravity do its thing.

Remove ramekin, top with whatever (if using) and serve ASAP.

Notes:
  • I cooked my cakes the whole way through. I set my timer for 10 minutes, and around 8 minutes the centers were still wobbly but the sides weren't set. At 10 minutes the cakes were cooked through. Next time I'll probably start watching obsessively at the 8 minute mark and remove them when the centers look like they're setting. The cakes were still good, despite the lack of "molten" inside.
  • It's really, really important to keep the water from touching the bowl when you're melting the chocolate and butter. It's also really important to slowly stir the chocolate and butter so they don't burn.
  • Fold quickly! I think I folded a little too slowly and that hurt my cakes.
  • Keep an eye on your egg and sugar mixture. When it's a pale yellow, it's done.

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