Saturday, December 10, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cakes [Rhonda]

Degree of difficulty: easy if your oven works right, tricky if it's like mine and doesn't hold a true temperature
Time: 15 minutes prep, 10 to 12 minutes cooking time
Serves: 4

Molten chocolate. What, I ask, could be better?

For the past decade and a half, individual chocolate cake with a liquid center has been de rigueur at high-end Columbus restaurants. Chef Tami Cecil, who conducts cooking classes out of a big barn structure at Woodhaven Farms, near Johnstown, OH, shared this version at one of those classes.

It's not hard, but until you've made it once or twice, when to call it done is a bit mysterious. Because the center is supposed to remain gooey. If your oven's reliable, 12 minutes is plenty.

Now go get your chocolate on.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

1/4 pound butter, plus enough to grease the ramekins
2 tablespoons flour, plus enough to flour the ramekins
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Heavy cream for whipped cream. Or purchase a superb ice cream to top things off. Jeni's Salty Caramel or Queen City Cayenne come to mind.
Berries: strawberries or raspberries are great

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease and flour 4 six ounce ramekins or baking dishes.

In a double boiler, add the chocolate, butter, cream and powdered sugar, and let sit until melted.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon and salt for about 3 minutes.
Sift the 2 tablespoons flour into the mixture and fold in. Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture and divide among the ramekins.

Bake at 350 F for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are puffy and the sides are set.

Let cool for about 2 minutes and unmold onto dessert plates. Garnish and eat it while it's warmmmmmmmm.

Suggested soundtrack: Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Any rendition will do, but listen all the way through, as that final movement is killer.

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