Warm cake made from Belgian chocolate, with a hot centre that erupts onto the plate, cooled with frozen yogurt. Say hello to my first lava cake!
On my way home yesterday, I ran into Boyfriend on the subway. This might not seem like a big event, since we live together, but I love serendipity. I commemorated that happy chance with a dessert that’s hot and cold, decadent and sweet.
I found a recipe for “molten chocolate cakes” in Chocolate! favourite recipes for cakes, cookies, pies, puddings & other sublime desserts by Good Housekeeping, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
Good to know before you start: You don’t have to cook them all at once, the batter can be refrigerated or frozen, to bake as needed – oops, wish I realized this myself!
Chocolate will seize if it comes into contact with moisture, so always make sure the pans and utensils are dry, and use low heat without a cover to prevent condensation
Time required: 1 hr
Yields: 8 cakes
Cost per portion: $3.50
Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $28.00 or higher
Special kitchen implements I used:
- electric beaters
- 8 ramequins
- baking pans large enough to hold the ramequins
- kitchen scale
- 4 oz of semi-sweet Belgian chocolate (equivalent to 4 squares)
- ½ C butter (1 stick), room temp
- ¼ C heavy cream
- ½ TSP vanilla extract
- ¼ C granulated white sugar
- ¼ C flour
- 4 eggs, room temp (need 2 full eggs + 2 egg yolks)
Step 1 – preheat oven to 204°C / 400°F. Grease and sugar ramequins, and place them into baking pan(s).
Step 2 – use a serrated blade to chop the chocolate. I’m glad I used the premium stuff, because Callebaut Belgian chocolate is delicious. I get mine from Domino’s in the St. Lawrence Market.
It’s easier if you cut the chocolate from an angle.
Including the weight of the container I needed 5.3 oz, so weigh it out and set it aside.
Step 3 – take 2 of the 4 eggs, and separate the yolk from the white. Return whites to fridge.
Step 4 – using a mixer on High speed for 10 minutes, beat: sugar, 2 eggs, and 2 egg yolks. Stir down the sides a few times, and it will get thicker and lemon-coloured.
Step 5 – (I did this while the mixer was going.)
In a sauce pan on Low, melt: butter, heavy cream, and chocolate.
Stir the chocolate constantly until the mixture is smooth. Chocolate has a very low melting temperature, and it will scorch if you let it get too hot.
Step 6 – remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Step 7 – gently whisk in the flour, until just combined
Step 8 – fold the egg mixture into the chocolate, adding one third at a time.
Mmm, the way it looked reminded me of chocolate cheesecake ice cream, which I haven’t had since I was a kid. WANT NOW.
It took quite awhile for the batter to reach a uniform colour.
Step 9 – ladle the batter into the ramequins, and bake for 8-9 minutes.
Check for doneness by shaking the pan, the edges of the cakes should be set but the centres should jiggle.
Step 10 – cool on rack for 3 min, in pan
Step 11 – remove ramequins from baking pan, run thin blade around the edges of each cake to loosen it from the ramequin; then immediately turn them upside down onto a plate and serve
I was a little surprised how flat they look. I was expecting more volume, but since there is no leavening agent it makes sense. I added some vanilla frozen yogurt.
Verdict: Yum. I’m quite pleased. They were delicious and visually interesting. Boyfriend really liked them too, and said “Oh wow, this is good, this is really good.” I snuck one into his lunch as a surprise when he gets to work. Am waiting to hear how it tasted after being microwaved.
Before last night, I had never eaten lava cakes, so I’m glad that situation has been rectified.