Friday, April 12, 2013

Salted Caramel Lava Cake

Salted Caramel Lava Cake - made April 7, 2013 from Vegetarian Nirvana

I haven't had much time to bake lately and/or blog so my blog write ups have been brief of late and I'm still working through a small backlog of recipes to put up.  I actually went a few days without baking anything.  I know, I know, that's like saying I took a deep breath and didn't let it out for a few days.

But last weekend, I was in a chocolate mood and my handy pin board offered up several interesting possibilities.  I chose this one because it promised decadence all the way.  And wow, did it deliver.  You can follow the recipe as is with the caramel squares in the middle or you can do what I did: I put a caramel-filled milk chocolate Dove candy in the middle of the ramekin over a layer of batter then a dollop of salted caramel on top of that then covered the whole thing with a little more batter.  Eek.  So good.  Because the caramel center is obligingly molten, you don't have to be as concerned about the chocolate cake being molten.  You definitely don't want to overbake it but don't underbake it too much either.  The recipe technically makes 4 servings but given its richness, I advise making 6-8 servings out of this recipe.  6 will be small, 8 will be mini size.  But trust me, a few spoonfuls of this is enough for you to give proper homage to decadence and the calorie gods.
Topped with The Milkiest Chocolate (Jeni's Ice Cream)

4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate squares
4 ounces butter (1 stick or 8 tablespoons)
1/3 cup of sugar 
2  large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Some butter for greasing 4 3-inch diameter, ramekins
6-8 caramel squares
a little rock salt/sea salt
100% cocoa powder for dusting ramekins, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Butter the ramekins. Dust with cocoa powder (optional)
  3. Cut each caramel square into a few smaller pieces and press some salt onto them and set aside. If you leave them whole they might not melt all the way through.
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top half of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering water.  Whisk until combined.  Add the sugar.  Whisk in the eggs and incorporate.
  5. Stir in the flour. Work the flour in gently to combine. 
  6. Divide batter among the 4 ramekins.
  7. Gently push the salted caramel bits into the batter covering them.
  8. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake between 10-14 minutes. The cake is ready when it has a domed appearance, the center is a little moist and the edges of the cake, dry and firm. Remove from the oven, insert a knife and go around the cake, invert onto serving plates, garnish wth salt and serve.

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