Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baby Lava Cakes; Time Just Keeps Oozing On

Time doesn't so much march on as it seems to just ooze by.

Once we had kids, time wasn't measured by our birthdays, but by the landmarks of our children and their friends.

The first day of school. Little League games. Birthday parties. The last day of school. All these events seemed to just sneak up on us and before you knew it, another year had passed. It's not that our milestones were less important, it's that their events seemed so much more immediate.

Last week we got a "Save the Date" notice. The eldest of friends from Chicago, the 8-year old little girl we met 14 years ago, is getting married.

Old enough to get married! When did that happen?

If she's old enough to get married that means that CrabCake #1 can't be far behind. How can that be possible? If that's true, then that means CrabCake #2 will be leaving for college in a few years!

No, no, no! Something's wrong, I'm sure I was paying attention; how did this get by me?

Days, weeks, years, decades,
time oozes on.

Well in a tribute to WheatonJen, here's a dessert recipe that she found and we've fallen in love with. It's one of those slightly decadent, warm, oozing chocolate lava cakes. The slow, unctuous creep of the chocolate emanating from the cake is always a hit at a dinner party. Come to think of it, its sweet sensuous flow would be great on a honeymoon night; but I digress. So without further delay...

Baby Lave Cakes
by WheatonJen and tweaked by SSSal

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 TBSP whipping cream

Combine chocolate and cream in a medium saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over low heat until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool, refrigerate for 45 minutes until mixture becomes firm.

Shape chocolate into 6 equal sized balls. (This is a messy job but the kids love doing it.) Set aside.


3/4 cup butter
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
3 egg yolks (yeah, yeah I know, but you only live once, so die happy)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup flour
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

Butter and flour (6) 3/4 cup ramekins. In a medium saucepan, stir butter and chocolate over medium heat until fully melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until lemon colored, (about 5 minutes).

Beat in the butter/chocolate mixture.

Sift flour and cocoa powder together and add to "wet" mixture.

Fill each ramekin 1/3 full with batter, drop a chocolate ball on top and then fill with remaining 2/3s cake batter. (If you put the ramekins on a cookie sheet it is easier to move them around, but you have to have enough room in your fridge to handle the next step.)

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees while ramekins are chilling.

Remove ramekins from refrigerator and bake for 13 - 15 minutes.

Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Quickly invert cakes onto serving plates. Garnish with whipped cream, ice cream and/or fruit coulis (recipe on another day).

Cut into cakes with a spoon and listen to your dinner companions ooh and aah.

Bask in your culinary glory.

Well crablings, that's it. Like all desserts, this one has a lot of fussy steps, but the result is pretty cool. And remember, if WheatonJen can come up with this recipe at the ripe old age of 19, then you can do it, you can cook.


Leonor de Sousa Bastos said...

Your cakes are very beautiful but when you've opened them the entire world falls apart!


Anonymous said...

ohh yum! i've been addicted to molten lava cake ever since my husband and i went to nyc a few years back and had some with home made banana ice cream. sounded funny but omg, to die for!

Shannon and Scott said...

I stopped right over your picture on tastespotting. This looks so good i wanna lick my screen :) Gorgeous shot.

Brilynn said...

I never tire of lava cakes, I love the oozy centre. Time, on the other hand, I've got a bone to pick with time! said...

Boy, Oh Boy, what great reactions. Something about oozing chocolate. Sensuous, salacious, surely sensational. Thanks to everyone.

sara angel said...

my favorite restaurants has the best lava cake...but the last time i went there they were out. i guess i'll just have to make my own. these look soooo good!

Angela said...

I've been looking for a good lava cake recipe; thanks! BTW, I'm a Firefox user and your ads overlap your text when I view your blog. Could be a browser issue. Just FYI. said...

Angela, thanks for the info. The page is prepped on Firefox, though I use a 16:9 ratio monitor, so that may have something to do with it. I'm in the early stages of a page redesign so the page look will be changing in the coming months.

Anyone else having any viewing issues?

Anonymous said...

Wow this looks amazing! I've always been intimidated by lava cakes.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of time "oozing on" - very descriptive! I like these lava cakes even more - thanks for the recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

What would Wine Wizard Bob suggest pouring into that tiny and delicate-looking little orange flute to sip with the luscious lava cake?

Anonymous said...

lava cakes have always been my favorite dessert to order in restaurants. this recipe makes it seem like i could try to make some of my own at home. thanks for sharing-your cakes are absolutely beautiful!

WineWizardBob said...

Into the orange flute I would pour a Brachetto d'Acqui. The most famous one is from Banfi called Rosa Regale. This red wine is low in alcohol, spritzy but not fully bubbly, slightly sweet, with a wonderful flavor and aroma of roses and raspberries. Just imagine a raspberry sauce under the molten cake, except you can drink it from a glass. Even though it is red, serve it chilled and enjoy.

Amanda said...

These look incredible, can't wait to try them!

Amanda said...

I'm finally getting around to trying these. I don't have ramekins though, do you think I could use a muffin tin? said...

Well Amanda that's a good question. After consulting with SSSal the answer seems to be, it depends.

The standard sized 12 muffin tin holds a 1/2 cup of batter with no extra space. Our ramekins hold about 3/4 cup of batter. We fill them with 1/2 a cup and that leaves room for expansion.

So if you have a muffin tin that's for larger muffins I say give it a try. If you're using a regular 12 muffin pan, you might have some difficulty with the "poofiness" segment of the cooking.

Personally I say go for it and see what happens. The worst thing to happen would be a chocolately gooey mess you'd have to eat right away. How bad is that really?

Hope this helps.


Rachel said...

Hi. Your cake looks awesome! I'm hoping you can help me. I'm in search of a recipe for a lemon lava cake. Scoured the internet...nothing. Not a lemon pudding cake, but a lava cake just like the chocolate, but with lemon flavored cake and lemony flavored lava. Any ideas? Thanks in advance! said...

Lemon Lava?! Now that sounds good. Rachel, I know of no recipe. Let me talk to SSSal and see if she knows of anything. Sounds like an adventure to me!!!