Monday, December 28, 2009

Molten Chocolate Cake - Gale Gand

I've been MIA for a few days because of the holidays and also because I'm slowing down on the baking. I think I pretty much hit the baking peak the week before Christmas in terms of volume. Fortunately, for Christmas Day dinner, I only had to make sure there was enough for 7 people. Per my sister's request, I made molten chocolate cake (aka lava cake) for dessert. I got this recipe from and it's from Gale Gand. I have several of her cookbooks although I admit I haven't made many recipes from it. This lava cake was pretty good but, as with most recipes with a high concentration of chocolate, make sure you use "good chocolate". I prefer Lindt or Valrhona but Trader Joe's also carries good chocolate.

Lava cakes are simple and easy to make but the baking of them can be tricky. If you don't bake it long enough, it's raw batter instead of "lava" chocolate. If you bake them too long, then worst case scenario, you have a dry cake and best case scenario is you have a cake but no lava. I made the batter for this earlier in the day so I wouldn't have to do anything at the last minute. I portioned them out into individual ramekins, covered each one with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator. When we were nearing the end of Christmas dinner, I preheated the oven and popped the cakes into the hot oven.

Because they had been refrigerated, they were nowhere near baked, even for lava cakes, at 6 minutes. I left them in for about 10 minutes but in retrospect, that wasn't enough time. The top half of the cake was just right but the bottom half was still more batter than cake and even a bit cool so they definitely hadn't had time to bake long enough. I had batter left over so I made a few more ramekins of lava cake the next night when my sister's boyfriend, Patrick, was over and she had asked for lava cake again for him. This time I baked the cakes a little longer but now it seemed I baked them too long as the bottom of the cake baked and there was still the fudgy middle but the top of the cake I had was just a bit "tough". Taste-wise, I like this recipe. But I will have to play with baking times to really get it to the right combination of cake and molten cake.

8 ounces plus 6 tablespoons butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
6 yolks
6 eggs
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup flour

1. Melt the chocolate and butter together. Cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks and eggs then mix in the powdered sugar.
3. Whisk this into the chocolate mixture then whisk in the flour.
4. Fill 12 greased 4-ounce foil tins with the batter and refrigerate until ready to bake, or bake immediately.
5. Bake in a preheated 450˚F oven for 5 to 6 minutes from cold, or 4 to 5 minutes from room temperature. Turn out of tins immediately onto the plate.

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