Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
Serving Size / Yield
- Frozen Chocolate Center:
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3/4 C. heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
- 1 Tbs. Grand Marnier
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- Chocolate Cake:
- Softened butter (for buttering the ramekins)
- 9 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 C. water
- 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
- 3/4 C. + 3 Tbs. sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbs. unsalted butter (1 stick), slightly softened
- 1/2 C. + 1 Tbs. granulated sugar (used in two separate measurements)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs + 1 large egg white, separated, at room temperature
To make frozen center, put the chocolate in a 1-quart measuring cup with a pouring spout. In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, heat the cream and corn syrup, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds, to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the Grand Marnier, vanilla and orange zest.
Cover an ice cube tray with a piece of plastic wrap. With your fingers, press down on the plastic wrap to line six individual ice cube cavities with plastic. Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the six lined ice cube cavities, filling each one to the brim. Reserve the remaining chocolate mixture in a heat proof bowl to be used later as a sauce and cover and refrigerate. Cover the filled ice cube tray with plastic wrap. Freeze the ice cube tray with the chocolate mixture for 3-4 hours, until frozen solid. Keep the frozen chocolate in the freezer until ready to assemble the dessert.
To make cake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of 6 6 oz. ramekins. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet. Melt the chocolate with the water and coffee. Gently whisk until smooth. Let the chocolate mixture cool for 5-10 minutes, until tepid. In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour and salt until thoroughly blended. Sift onto a piece of waxed paper.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter for 30 seconds until creamy. While continuing to beat, gradually add 1/2 C. of the sugar. Beat in the vanilla. One at a time, add the egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. In a large grease-free bowl using a hand-held electric mixer and clean beaters, beat the egg whites at low speed until frothy.
Gradually increase the speed to high and beat the whites until soft peaks start to form. One teaspoon at a time, add the remaining 1 Tbs. of sugar and continue beating the whites until stiff, shiny peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites along with 1/3 of the flour mixture into the batter. 1/3 at a time, gently fold in the remaining egg whites and the flour.
Spoon half of the batter, filling each ramekin a little more than half full. Unwrap the frozen chocolate cubes. Nestle a frozen chocolate cube in the center of each batter-filled ramekin. Spoon the remaining batter over the tops of the frozen chocolate cubes, covering them completely. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the batter has risen about 1/2-inch above the ramekin rims and the tops are slightly cracked