When you look at the dessert menu at any restaurant, you will usually find some version of a Molten Lava Chocolate Cake. If you've ever ordered one, you know why they are so popular. It is a dessert that was created by mistake - somebody took the cake out of the oven too early and discovered how heavenly it tasted! You can easily recreate this cake at home and unlike a souffle you can prepare it some time in advance, even freeze it for a day, and then pop it in the oven when you need it. Don't over-bake them however, because then you'll have a chocolate cake without the heavenly inside.
Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes
(adapted from Nigella Lawson)
1 stick (115 g) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces (120 g) semisweet chocolate, with 60 percent cocoa solids
¾ (170 g) cup superfine sugar (I took less)
3 (25 g) tablespoons all-purpose flour
Special equipment: 4 (2/3 to 1-cup capacity) ramekins
Optional: Cocoa powder to dust the ramequins
1 pinch Espresso powder
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 F / 200 C .
Butter the ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter and dust with cocoa powder.
Either in a microwave or in a bowl suspended over a pan over simmering water, melt the dark chocolate and 1 stick butter, then set aside to cool a little.
In another bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and flour with a hand whisk and beat in the cooled butter, the Espresso powder if using and chocolate mixture. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered ramekins. Put on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, by which time the tops will be cooked and cracked and the chocolate gooey underneath.
Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve. Make sure to warn people that these desserts will be HOT!