chocolate lava cakes



for that special someone, for that special day, or for that special dinner, think about trying this recipe for chocolate lava cakes.  i found the recipe online and decided to give it a try.  the preparation time is less than twenty minutes, and the baking time is about 20 minutes.  so, this recipe is one that is impressive and quite easy.

it is very important to purchase very good quality chocolate for this recipe.  i would only use the best, such as:  Valrhona, Godiva,  Ghirardelli, or Scharffen Berger.  make sure the chocolate chosen has at least 40 percent cacao.  some of these brands will have 60 percent, and that is terrific, as those chocolates will have less sugar.  the higher quality chocolate will make certain that the lava flow is smooth and delicious.  less quality chocolate will not work to the same degree. the cake will still taste delicious, but the soft center will not be as delicious.

this general principle is true for baking with chocolate.  don’t skimp on the chocolate, as the lesser brands will not give the same rich flavor to your recipes. baking chocolate should be the finest that is affordable.

to make the lava cakes:  heat the oven to 325 degrees.  lightly coat four individual custard cups or ceramic bakers in any shape with butter spray.  i used heart-shaped custard cups.

next, melt 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate with 2 tablespoons butter in a double boiler over simmering water.  remove from the heat.  then, in another bowl, beat 2 1/2 eggs with 1/4 cup sugar at medium speed until very light and fluffy.  add 1/4 cup of flour, and then 1/8 cup of flour with 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and a dash of sea salt.  mix well.

incorporate the chocolate and the dry ingredients together. mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.

divide the batter evenly into four bakers and bake until the cakes have just cooked through, no more than 20 minutes.  depending on the size of the bakers, this may only take 15 minutes.

the recipe may be prepped ahead and baked when dinner is being served.  serve this dessert warm from the oven.  the bakers will easily unmold onto plates.  dust with powdered sugar.  

option:  serve with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream


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