So you’ve sufficiently recovered from your holiday-induced sugar coma long enough to start thinking about what to serve on Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of magazines out there touting one elaborate confection after another. But Woman’s Day kept things simple, which is what caught my eye. Elegant, understated yet mouth-wateringly tempting chocolate cake oozing with molten sauce graces the February cover.
The wonderful thing about lava cakes is that they’re deceptively simple. You look at it and think, “What kind of kitchen song and dance am I going to have to do to get a liquid center in that chocolate cake?” And the answer is, “Practically nothing.” The cake takes care of the sauce for you.
So are these simple Molten Chocolate Cakes worthy of the cover? Let’s see.
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Yield: Serves 2
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
1 Tbsp. flour, plus more for the ramekins
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1. Heat oven to 450°F. Butter two 6-oz ramekins and dust the inside with flour.
2. Place the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg, egg yolk and sugar in a medium bowl until thick and lighter in color, about 1 minute. Add the melted chocolate mixture and flour and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.
4. Divide the batter between the prepared ramekins. Bake until edges are set and center still jiggles slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand 15 seconds. Run a knife around edge, then invert each cake onto a plate. Dust with confections' sugar and serve with fresh mint or berries, if desired. Serve immediately.
Make-Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the batter in the ramekins for up to 1 day. Before baking, bring to room temperature.
• As you might expect with the small amount of sugar and the use of bittersweet chocolate, these have only a whisper of sweetness. I love dark chocolate, so they were perfect for me, but if you lean more towards a sweeter chocolate, you might substitute semi-sweet or even milk chocolate chips for the bittersweet.
• I over-baked mine at least a full minute, probably more like 2, and I only let them bake 8 minutes. Go by the description, not the time. If the edges are set and the center jiggles at 6 minutes, take them out – like I should have. That will give you a more molten cake center.
• These are even delicious the next day for breakfast with a big cup of coffee. I mean, not that I would KNOW that for SURE, *ahem* but the cake will not be molten, just rich and gooey. I would think, anyway. Not that I would know.
• I wanted to use raspberries on the plate like the cover photo but my grocery store was holding raspberries hostage at $4.99 for a tiny carton. Plus they looked like they'd been tortured. Poor raspberries. No one wanted to pay their ransom. BUT I do think fresh berries or even some homemade raspberry sauce would be wonderful with these.
• Regarding the ramekins. I had some small ones from Pier 1 but they had two problems: 1) They're not oven safe. Seriously. I didn't realize it when I bought them, but please make sure your ramekins are (for obvious reasons) AND can go in a 450°F oven. 2) They were too small. Be sure yours will hold 6 ounces. I bought 4-inch ramekins at Wal-Mart for about $3 each and they're oven safe to 450°F – perfect for the recipe.
Source: Woman’s Day, February 2011
With only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes from start to finish, I’m all over this recipe. It’s easy, quick, delicious and impressive. Plus it makes just 2 servings – perfect for Valentine’s Day (and portion control).
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
100% yes. But there are a bunch of really delicious sounding, heart-healthy recipes in this issue, too, so it’s worth a look. Butternut squash risotto, white bean dip, and sweet potato skins are just a few of them. Yum, right? Interesting to note: When I went to grab the cover image from the Woman’s Day site, though, it showed a different cover for this issue. I wonder if THEY questioned having the molten cake on the cover?