Friday, February 14, 2014

Red Velvet Nutella Lava Cakes

Red Velvet Nutella Lava Cakes - made February 7, 2014 from Half Baked Harvest
Ah, the crowning glory of my Valentine treats for the week. This is something you can make at home for you and your sweetie that takes relatively little time and effort yet is fitting decadence to mark the occasion. If you have these dessert shell pans, it'll be even easier. I got the original recipe from Half Baked Harvest but with my dessert shell pan, I went with the lazy baker's version of molten chocolate cake.
Which means you bake the cake batter in the dessert shell pan, making sure to grease them well so the cakes will come out easily and intact when you turn the pan over. One recipe below filled my 6-cavity pan perfectly.
Then you fill the cavities almost to the top with nutella. If your nutella is a bit on the solid side because it's cold, warm it up in the microwave just enough to be easy to pour or spoon into the cavity. You want it somewhat flowing and soft because this is the lava part.
Next step is to drizzle (be generous) salted caramel over the whole thing. I used ready-made salted caramel from Trader Joe's but you can use whichever you like, including making from scratch.
Finally, don't forget the ice cream. Right before you serve this, top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dig in. This is best served when the cake is still slightly warm, the nutella and salted caramel are melty-warm and the ice cream is newly scooped. You'll get that flowing lava/molten chocolate effect although in this case it'll be molten nutella and caramel. I'm okay with that.
If you don't own a dessert shell pan, I've left Half Baked Harvest's original recipe as is below so you can do it the non-lazy way and include the ganache filling that'll make up your molten center. I didn't have heavy cream at the time I made this so I opted for the nutella filling. Just don't overbake the cake because you do want it moist, regardless of filling or no filling. What I liked about my version is this took almost no time to make. I worked from home last Friday, logged off at 5:30, turned my oven on, made up the batter while the oven was preheating and after baking, unmolding, and adding the nutella filling, salted caramel and ice cream, I was taking my first bite of this by 6 pm. No lie. Didn't take me that long to consume it either. Easiest dinner I've ever made, ha.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons red food coloring
coconut whipped cream, whipped cream or ice cream, for serving (optional)

4 1/2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup canned coconut milk or heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Make the ganache: in a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate and coconut milk (or heavy cream). Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Once melted stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and place in the fridge.
  2. Grease 6 (4 ounce) ramekins or 4 (6 ounce ramekins) and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat the chocolate and butter together on low in a small saucepan, stirring until just melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and salt until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat the eggs and slowly add the sugar until the eggs are pale in color, about four minutes. Add the vanilla extract and food coloring, mix until combined. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the chocolate into the eggs until just combined. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins.
  5. Spoon about 1-2 heaping teaspoons of the chilled ganache (you will not use it all) into the center of the ramekins. Use a spoon to scoop the red velvet mixture over the ganache. Cover the ramekins and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. After 15 minutes remove ramekins from the fridge and place in the oven. Bake for 10-20 minutes (10 minutes for 4 ounce ramekins and 18 minutes for 6 ounce ramekins). Loosen the edges of the cakes with a butter knife and turn out onto plates. Serve immediately with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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