Die Hard fans of this blog or my husband will already know that today is Kent’s birthday. This year when I asked whether he wanted to do a Nascar driving experience or the symphony, he picked Rachmaninoff’s 3rd piano concerto. And when I asked whether he wanted homemade passionfruit ice cream or molten chocolate lava cakes, he picked “Both”.
So I took the Fluff to a playdate and the boys to the gym, and had a merry old time cooking in peace. It was like the olden days when I could enjoy cooking instead of desperately trying to remember whether I put in 3 or 4 eggs before various small people shoved their needs in my face. Until–
The phone rang, and a mother informed me that there had been a Bouncy House incident, and could I come over right away because Fluffy had strained or possibly broken her finger and required an immediate evacuation and possibly medical attention.
So mid lava cake, I dashed to the playdate in my apron. All the girls, the parents and grandparents were huddled around Scarlet O’Hara’s bandaided pinky at the party. I apologized and whisked her away.
Later, the mother of one of the kids emailed me:
I hope you are well. I wanted to check on Fluffy to see how she is doing? My daughter was really worried about her and wanted me to reach out about her finger.
We hope she is ok
To which I replied:
Oh, that’s so sweet! She came home, put a bag of frozen squash on it, ate some Tylenol and molten chocolate lava cake batter and proclaimed herself cured. [She literally thrust her pinky in the air and exclaimed, “I’m cured!”] She’s fine. Thanks for checking in.
And then we took Daddy out to Famous Dave’s where Fluffy announced, “I’m going to challenge myself not to talk,” and then for the rest of the dinner tried to force us to read her lips and/or mind.
But anyway, here’s the recipe for lava cakes.
Craw’s Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
Chocolate migraine included.
4oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3oz. heavy cream
2 teaspoons butter, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup + 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1¾ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Put chopped semisweet chocolate in a metal bowl. Heat heavy cream in microwave. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until melted. (If necessary, place the bowl over a simmering pot of water to melt any lingering chunks. Remove from heat.) Add butter and whisk until melted. Put the ganache in the refrigerator or freezer and stir every 5 minutes until a frosting like consistency is achieved. If mixture becomes too firm, slightly rewarm. Form ganache into 6-8 ganache balls/disks on wax paper, seal in foil and keep in freezer until the batter is ready. Meanwhile make cake batter.
Thoroughly mix flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk butter and sugars in a kitchen mixer on low until well blended. On low speed whisk in eggs 1 at a time, then whisk in vanilla. Whisk in dry ingredients. Try not to eat all of the cake batter before getting it into the cups.
Spray Texas muffin tin or six 8oz ramekins or coffee mugs with cooking spray. (I sometimes divide the recipe into eight 8oz ramekins with equal success.) Fill ramekins half way with cake batter (a little over 1/3 cup). Place a ganache center in each ramekin and cover with remaining batter (a little less than 1/3 cup each). Cover and refrigerate mugs at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight. Batter can be frozen for 1 month.
Let ramekins stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before baking. Bake at 375° for 22-30 minutes or until cakes are puffed and crusty and tester inserted into center comes out with thick batter attached. Do not overcook or the centers will cook out. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.