Thursday, February 10, 2011
Dessert Diva - Lava Cakes!
Go to a fancy schmancy restaurant and you will undoubtedly skip the NY Style Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and Apple Tart Tatin for the obvious choice of Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. It's one of those wow moments when you are presented a perfectly sized personal portion of chocolate decadence. You poke your fork or spoon into the outer crust and drool as a stream of hot fudgey lava amazingness begins to pour forth. It's more than I can handle, I'm drooling right now.
Little do you realize that yes, you can go to a fancy restaurant to order them, yes...you can go to Trader Joe's and buy them frozen, yes...you can go to the gourmet dessert section of your grocery store and buy the box, but...why not make them from scratch and save yourself the trip out? Most have these ingredients lurking in your pantry. Believe it or not.
Turn yourself into the ultimate Dessert Diva by whipping up this chocolatey gourmet sensation - perfect in time for Valentines Day, trying to impress your in-laws or just having a weak moment and needing a chocolate fix. (I won't tell if you eat them all).
Diving into one of my Paula Deen cookbooks, this recipe emerges for your culinary delight:
Molten Lava Cakes
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
8 oz (1 cup) chocolate chips (recommend semi-sweet)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
OPTIONAL : 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (Kahlua) OR 1 tsp. instant coffee powder
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray six - 6 ounce ramekins or large cupcake tins (I am in love with my ramekins - please go buy some so you can be in love with them too). In a medium microwavable bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter in the microwave for 60 seconds and then in 30 second increments until smooth (about 1.5-2 minutes total). Add flour and sugar to chocolate/butter sauce. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Add vanilla and coffee liqueur/instant coffee and mix everything until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the each cups. Place cups on top of a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates or you can serve each molten lava cake still in the cup.
I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top for a little extra pazazz and nestled the lava cake next to a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. The result was nothing more than utterings of amazed delight as the plates were licked clean.
You can also add to the illusion of grandeur by throwing in a few strategically placed raspberries or strawberries - presentation is, afterall, everything.
This my friends, is a hit.
Have a delicous day!