Just in time for the weekend, when you may have some guests to feed or a craving to nurse, here’s a recipe for delicious molten chocolate cakes. It’s from a Fine Cooking mag article called “Quick Chocolate Fixes” and it was quick, indeed; I had the finished product on the table in under 30 minutes. The molten cakes are very rich, so rich that I actually ate mine quite slowly, which rarely happens when the object of consumption contains chocolate. The extras kept well in the fridge for a few days and easily turned ‘molten’ again when reheated in the microwave.
Molten Chocolate Cakes
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces; more for the ramekins
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% to 65% cacao), chopped (about 1-3/4 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tbsp tawny port
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
raspberries for garnish (optional)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425F. Generously butter six 4-oz. ramekins. Put the ramekins in a baking pan with sides that are at least 2 inches high. Bring a kettle of water to boil and keep at a simmer until needed.
Heat the chocolate and butter in a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until completely melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the sugar and salt until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the eggs until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in the port and vanilla until combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the top and whisk until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins, filling each about two-thirds full. Carefully pour the boiling water in the pan so that it reaches at least halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the tops are just set and dry, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and water bath, and let cool for 2 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, top with a few raspberries, if desired, and serve warm.
Serves 6. (From Fine Cooking, Feb/Mar 2012)