Teaching myself to cook, one recipe at a time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Lava Cakes

Happy Valentine's Day!

Okay, I know I'm a few days late. But at least I made these on the right day, it just took me a few days to find time to post about it.

Andy and I don't really do much to celebrate this holiday, but I still wanted to indulge his sweet tooth with a rich, chocolatey dessert to let him know how much I love him.

Before you get all excited, this wasn't an extreme kitchen effort. After all, I really didn't have time - I'd been running errands in DC, working out at the gym, running by the doggie day care to pick up the pups, and of course I had all sorts of homework waiting for me. My best friend, Ashly, gave us this kit for Christmas, and Valentine's Day seemed like a perfect time to make use of it:

Basically, it was a mix. To the included powder, I added water and melted butter...

And whisked it until it was smooth...

Melted all the included chocolate morsels in the microwave and poured the liquid chocolate directly into the mix...

Poured the resulting mixture into the porcelain ramekins that came with the kit, and baked in the oven at 375 for 13 minutes...

And if you're curious about what a ramekin is and what it's used for (like me!), here's a link to the wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramekin. I wonder if I will have to look up recipes that require ramekins now, like french onion soup. Not that I've ever been a huge fan of french onion soup, but I bet Andy would like it. Okay, this tangent is over. Back to the lava cakes.

The box said to IMMEDIATELY invert the ramekins over plates and remove the cakes. Luckily, they came out without a problem due to all the cooking spray that I'd used.

And with a little sprinkle of confectioner's sugar, they were done!

Now, I don't know how these things WORK. According to wikipedia, a "molten chocolate cake" combines elements of a flourless chocolate cake and a souffle, and apparently it was invented by a guy (Jean-Georges Vongerichten) who took a cake out of the oven before it was done and liked the runny interior. But I don't quite understand how the chocolate "lava" ends up all in the middle when the chocolate itself was mixed in to the batter. Is it just because it isn't cooked all the way? If I'd overcooked it, would it have been a normal chocolate cake?

Who knows? All I know is that we had these before we went out for dinner at Macaroni Grill, and they were just plain delicious.

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