Back to the Molten Lava Cake experiment set. The first attempt at the challenge went rather well, but just because a first try is a success doesn’t mean there isn’t more research to be done. Much, much more research. Probably with no end in sight. Thank God I kept going, because this second attempt was even better than the first.
Even Better Molten Lava Cake Version 2.0
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting (optional)
6 large eggs plus 6 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter eight 6-ounce ramekins and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.
Combine the butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, eggs and yolks, vanilla extract and almond extract in a bowl until creamy. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Divide among the prepared ramekins.
Bake the cakes until the tops are stiff and the edges darken, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cakes with a small paring knife and transfer to plates while warm. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
I added a pinch of granulated sugar to this recipe, not sure why, but I’m starting to trust in myself the same carefree impulsive kitchen habits my mother exhibits. The batter seemed to be aching for one more sprinkle of something. These were perfect. Right up there with the Coffee Cake Muffins –very similar autonomic response—the reverie, the whispered prayer. Absolute bliss for the group of us hunched quietly in a circle in a Ballard living room, scratching forks happily against chocolate-smeared china.
Here is a video captured of the actual chocolate geology in live time.