Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Molten chocolate cake or lava cake is a popular dessert that combines the elements of a flourless chocolate cake (sometimes called a chocolate decadence cake) and a soufflé. Some other names used are chocolate fondant, chocolate moelleux and chocolate lava cake.

Molten lava cakes are always baked in ramekin dishes and have four main ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate. The butter and chocolate are melted together, while the eggs are either whisked with the sugar to form a thick paste, producing a denser finished product; or are separated so the egg whites can be whipped into an egg foam to provide more lift (and thus a lighter cake) when the mixture is baked.

Rather than presenting only the cake itself in a ramekin or on a plate, the baker may choose to make the cake more appealing. Fresh raspberries, a drizzling of raspberry and/or chocolate sauce, and dustings of powdered sugar may be added to enhance flavor, or a sprig of mint may look more appealing as well. For a more intense chocolate taste, the baker may also add a tablespoon of strong coffee.

The United States-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten claims to have invented molten chocolate cake in New York City in 1987, but the French chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres has disputed that claim, arguing that such a dish already existed in France. According to Vongerichten, he pulled a chocolate sponge cake from the oven before it was done and found that the center was still runny, but was warm and had both a good taste and a good texture. Regardless of who invented the dish, Vongerichten has been credited with popularizing it in the United States, and it is now almost a de rigueur inclusion on high-end restaurant dessert menus.

From WikiHow Recipes
Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

3/4 Cup [6oz]
dark cooking chocolate
3/4 Cup [6oz] softened butter
[sweetened, salted
or unsalted as per preference]

3 Eggs
1/3 Cup [5oz]
All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Powder

pinch of salt
ramekins in which to bake the mixture
1/2 Cup [4oz] Caster Sugar*

*Caster or castor sugar is often sold as superfine sugar in the United States. It is a pure white sugar ground down to finer particles than seen in regular table or granulated sugar. It differs from confectioners’ or powdered sugar, which typically contains corn starch as well as sugar. Caster sugar got its name because its grains are small enough to slip through the holes of a caster or shaker. Caster sugar commonly appears in recipes for mixed drinks and meringues.

Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and mix together well. Beat eggs and sugar together well until nearly white in appearance. For a fluffier cake separate the eggs and blend egg whites separately. Use a bain marie to melt the chocolate. Add the butter to the melted chocolate. Combine chocolate, eggs, and flour mixture [a rubber spatula is recommended but not essential]. Fill ramekins 2/3 full and bake mixture at 320F degrees for 10mins.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || eHow || WikiHow || Image Credit: WikimediaCommons