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Monday, June 29, 2009

In the Kitchen With Uncle Jesse.

Get ready. We're going to talk about chocolate today. Oh shoot, I'm not even going to say more than that. Let's just get to the recipe.

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes (take a minute to sigh, gasp, or exhale if you need to), from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe, from the phenomenal Cooks Illustrated dream team, of course.

First of all, get some ramekins out- if you don't' have any, you should get some. They make anything- pudding, berries and whipped cream, ice cream, anything more special, 'cause it's all individual and exclusive and personal. I love that. Guests love it too, btw. These I got from Target for .50 each while they were in the one spot once. You can get them anywhere, though. None of that I just said about ramekins is in the recipe, mind you, they just assume you've already got them. Or you wouldn't be making individual molten cakes.

Moving on...

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is mix 1 T softened unsalted butter and 1 T cocoa powder together, then brush it evenly to coat 8 ramekins. (I always use a paper towel to kind of smear it on.)

And peeps, I kid you not, the first time I made these I didn't get farther than step 1 before the sight of those chocolate-coated cups inspired an involuntary "Have Mer-cy" from my lips. Seriously. Have. Mer. cy.
Moving on.
Step 2. For the Cake: Chop 8 oz semisweet chocolate (don't cut the step and use chocolate chips! They won't work here!) Melt the chocolate and 8 T (1 stick) of butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a sauce pan with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring frequently until smooth. Take silly pictures of yourself while you're waiting for the water to simmer. Ohhhhhh. Have. Mer-cy.When that's done, set it aside. Then, using an electric mixer, whip 4 large eggs plus one yolk, 1 t vanilla, 1/4 t salt and 1/2 C granulated sugar together at the highest speed until the volume nearly triples, the color is very light, and the mixture drips from the whisk in a smooth, thick stream, 5-10 minutes depending on your mixer.It should look light and thick like the bowl on the left there. Scrape the egg mixture over the chocolate mixture. Make a heart for representin' chocolate love.
Sprinkle 2 T flour over the top of this, then gently fold it all together until it's fully incorporated together, and uniformly colored. It looks like this, and then you ladle or pour it evenly into the ramekins.Here's where they get even BETTER. You can:
A. Bake them now.
B. Cover each individually with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate them up to 8 hours, or,
C. Do the wrapping and then FREEZE them for up to one month!
I baked two Friday, one for me, one for the man in my life. I froze the rest. How great are these for pullin' out when people come over?!?! They bake RIGHT OUT OF THE FREEZER!
To serve them: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 400 degrees. Unwrap the cakes and place on a rimmed baking sheet (do NOT thaw). Bake until the cakes have puffed about 1/2 inch above the rims of the ramekins, have a thin crust on top, and jiggle slightly at the center when you shake them nice and gentle.
If you're baking them right away, it will take 10-13 minutes of bakin'.
If refrigerated, it will take 11-14.
If frozen, it takes 12-15.
Watch them closely! (And why wouldn't you want to?)
While you're waiting for them, and deciding when to lightly jiggle them, brew some coffee and set out some nice plates. This seemed like a good time to use my china, since it's so handy to get now and all... Jim wasn't nearly as blessed by the china as me, but he sure did enjoy these...
To unmold, run a paring knife around the edges first.
Then invert them onto individual plates and let them cool for 1 minute. Realize spoons are better than forks for molten cake and switch utensils, like I did.
OK, back to waiting.... Wait for it.... Waaaait....Whew!
A pickier blogger would have cleaned the plate up around the cake, but I left all the marks from the ramekin there- keepin' it real and all. Go ahead and throw some berries, or whipped cream or ice cream, or powdered sugar on there. And finally, finally, break into that sweet, sweet molten goodness.
Have. Mer-cy.
And you know you wanted it...

4 comments:

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I have a deep and sincere love for chocolate in this form.

Personally, I eat them for breakfast. It's a great way to start the day!

-Andrea

Anne Elizabeth said...

I want to come live with you! This recipe sounds sooooooooooooooooooooo good. I have been craving chocolate big time!

Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot said...

I need ramekins and then I will make this. The sound so yummy!

anne said...

I'm DYING laughing at the last picture...MAN I used to love that show. :)

Ramikins needed here...I'm all about the indivdual, make you feel all warm and fuzzy serving pieces.
I MUST get some....and WILL BE trying this recipe.

MER...CY! I love choclate.