Molten chocolate cakes - those with a warm, runny, chocolatey center, have always been the quintessential restaurant dessert. It arrives at the table perfectly formed, piping hot, with a scoop of just-beginning-to-melt vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. I can recreate that in my kitchen, right? Well surprisingly, I just about can.
I'd always assumed there was some difficult trick to making these - multiple batters, filling, flipping, hiding, running around in a circle three times - but it turns out there isn't. Here's the secret. They're just underbaked in the center.
If you cook these to just the right time, the outside will have baked into a soft chocolate cake, while the middles remain a glossy, chocolatey sauce, that oozes out when you dig in with a spoon.Though this recipe should make 12, I somehow managed to just squeak out 13 of them. Which is perfect, because I was having 12 people for lunch, but I definitely needed to taste test this.
I reheated these the next day, and they turned out better than I thought. I left them in the pan, and reheated them for a few minutes. However I should have waited a little bit after pulled them out before getting them out of the pan, to help them stay intact. Still, I didn't hear any complaints. Or see any uncleaned plates.
Tip of the Day: You could use just about any chocolate in these. Some people will want to spend the dough and get the super fancy chocolate, which will make super fancy cakes. I'm happy to melt some Trader Joes chocolate chips and have delicious cakes. You could probably try these with milk chocolate too - let me know if you do!
Recipe: (from Martha Stewart)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted (I used semi-sweet)
Spray or butter a 12-cup muffin pan, then sprinkle with sugar, set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
Mix in the flour and salt until just combined.
Beat in the melted chocolate until just combined.
Divided between the 12 cups, bake at 400 F for 12 to 14 minutes.
When you pull them out, the outsides should be cooked and pulling away from the sides, and the insides should be shiny and slightly jiggly.
If serving immediately, let stand for 10 minutes before removing from pan and serving.