This is another recipe gift from Chef Anne, my private chef friend who wanders in and out of my kitchen a few times a year when I’m having too many people over to realistically think that I can do all of the cooking myself. My personal limit is about 25. I cook for 15-20 people without much sweat or consternation (I love that word – consternation – it has a really great sound to it). Once I get over 25 people on my guest list I start sweating and wishing I had, for heck’s sake, hired someone to do the work. Anyway, when it’s more than 25 you’ll usually find Anne in my kitchen. She NEVER sweats, nor does she ever look like she needs to use the word “consternation.” But enough about Anne, let’s talk about this recipe for a second. It is worth noting that your chocolate choice will make or break this recipe. Crappy, waxy chocolate and you’ll have miserable little molten chocolate thingees that aren’t worth the calories or the time it took you to put them together. Buy great chocolate and you’ll have great cakes. Try Scharffen Berger (now widely available at Whole Foods, restaurant supply businesses like Surfas in Los Angeles, and Gelson’s) or Trader Joe’s sells its own “Pound Plus” bar of high quality 72% dark chocolate. This is a perfect party dish. You can make the batter a day ahead. Pour the batter into ramekins before the guests arrive and pop these puppies into the oven just before dessert time is upon you. They totally rock. You’ll get so many compliments you won’t know what to do with them all!
Molten Chocolate Cakes (10 servings)
- 14 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons coffee liquor
- 6 large eggs
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Butter ten ¾-cup ramekins really well. Stir chocolate and butter in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted, or use a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in the coffee liquor. Cool slightly.
Whisk eggs and egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Whisk in sugar and a pinch of salt, then add the chocolate mixture and then the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared dishes, dividing equally. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.
Bake cakes until sides are set but center remains soft and runny, about 11 minutes or up to 15 minutes for batter that was refrigerated. Let sit 1 minute. Run a small knife around cakes to loosen. Immediately turn cakes out onto plates. Dust with powdered sugar, and/or serve with ice cream or vanilla whipped cream.