Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Dessert: Chocolate Molten Cakes with Raspberry Coulis

Happy Valentine’s Day! My husband and I usually like to use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to indulge in a fabulous meal at a trendy restaurant. With it falling on a Sunday this year, I actually requested that we stay in and I would cook something fabulous. (Sundays are my cooking day and much needed time at home to get ready for the week.) I made my husband a steak, we opened a nice bottle of wine, and topped it off with a chocolate dessert!

Chocolate molten cakes are my very favorite dessert to make and to eat. This recipe is so easy! It takes just minutes, and uses basic ingredients. I love to make these for other people, as they’re delicious and quite impressive. You can garnish them with mint leaves, fresh berries, and a powered sugar dusting, creating a beautiful presentation. The chocolate can be rich, so serving them with a little ice cream or whipped cream balances them out. I also like to make a raspberry coulis with them, giving the dessert more color and an added element.

You can make the cake batter ahead of time, refrigerate it, and then pull it out to bake when you’re ready to serve dessert (I recommend bringing it up to room temperature before baking). You’ll have to watch them in the oven, as the size of your ramekins will and the nuances of your own oven will determine the baking time. (I use these great silicone round mini pans that my mother got for me when taking a class at King Arthur Flour.)

Chocolate Molten Cakes
4 squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
½ cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. flour

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray custard cups or soufflé dishes with cooking spray. Place on baking sheet.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on high for 1 min., or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour. Divide batter between prepared custard cups.

Bake 13-14 min. or until sides are firm but centers are soft (you want a soft center about the size of a quarter). Remove from oven and let stand for 1 min. Carefully run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto dessert dishes.

Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream; and raspberry coulis (recipe follows) and/or fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.). Garnish with mint leaves and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

(Batter can be made a day ahead. Pour into prepared custard cups, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bake as directed.)

If custard cups are not available, use a 9 cupcake tin and bake for approximately 9 min.

Raspberry Coulis
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 cups fresh raspberries
Splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil on high; reduce to medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Add raspberries. Stir until thick and reduces by ¾ (about 5-8 min.). Remove from stove and strain to remove seeds. (To strain you will need to use a fine strainer or cheese cloth and will likely need to use a spoon to work the mixture through the strainer.) Add water and/or lemon juice if too thick. Refrigerate right before serving.

(I put the mixture in a squeeze bottle, which makes it easy for decorating plates. You can buy one at Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $0.99. Put the coulis in the squeeze bottle, drizzle it in a zig-zag or other pattern on plates, and then place molten cake and ice cream on top.)

1 comment: