Sometimes you come across a recipe that you know is going to be ‘to die for’ before you even taste it. These molten chocolate cakes are a case in point – simple to make and amazing each and every time! I very fortunately received Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman’s - Cook at Home with a Four-Star Chef from my husband as a gift back in 1998 (yes, 15 years ago). I pored over the pages; as I do with all my new cookbooks – putting post-it notes on the pages with recipes I want to try. When I came across this recipe, I knew I had found my go-to dinner party dessert and all these years later it’s still one of my favorites. It has all the criteria I look for in a recipe – few ingredients, make ahead and quick cooking on the night. Please give it a try. You won’t be sorry and you’ll look like a rock star in the kitchen – it can be our little secret how easy these are to make and that you did all the work ahead of time.
Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes
What you need: measuring spoons/cups, mixing bowl, medium sauce pan, medium heatproof bowl, stand-alone (or hand held) mixer w/whisk attachment, whisk, baking tray, 8 small ramekins (ovenproof bowls), non-stick baking spray
- 8 oz good quality chocolate (bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk – you decide)
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tsp flour
- 1 small container raspberries (approx. 6 oz)
- 1 quart good quality vanilla ice cream
- 8 sprigs mint
- confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 450˚F (if you are baking right away). Generously spray each of the eight ramekins with non-stick baking spray and set on a baking tray.
Slice butter and break chocolate into small pieces. Place in heatproof bowl. Fill sauce pan half way with water and place heatproof bowl on top – creating a double boiler. Gently bring water to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Stir the butter and chocolate until melted and combined (a whisk works well here). Take off heat and set aside. Whisk sugar, eggs and egg yolks with mixer until thick and light in color.
Give your chocolate and butter mixture a good mix with the whisk and while it’s still warm (not hot) add it into the sugar, egg mixture while mixer is running. Add in flour and mix until just combined. Divide batter into the ramekins (making sure to keep the same amount in each so they will cook evenly).
Bake on baking tray for about 7 minutes. The outside will be firm and inside soft, gooey and delicious.
Tip: You can make these a day ahead. Follow directions as above, but don’t bake. Pop them in the fridge overnight and bring back to room temperature prior to baking. (A good rule of thumb is to take them out of the fridge as you serve your first course.)
To Serve: Turn out the cakes onto individual plates. I find rubber gloves or very thin oven mitts with grips work well here. You want to completely turn the ramekin upside down on the plate, wait a few seconds and then carefully pull off the ramekin. Place a handful of berries, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of mint on each plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.