Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Molten Mocha Cakes
Last week, I wrote about my anniversary dinner. Whenever I am planning a dinner party or, in this case, a special dinner for two, I am always fixated on how to time everything just right so that nothing overcooks or gets too cold while waiting. Before I discuss this decadent dessert, I thought I would share how the timing of this menu worked out.
For my anniversary dinner, I made the lobster salad the night before. The lobster salad actually tastes better when it is allowed to sit overnight. This allows the flavors to really come together and marinate. I also cut the potatoes the night before and placed them in a tightly sealed zip lock bag. The next day, when I got home from work, I prepared the dessert through Step 5 and placed it in the refrigerator. I placed the potatoes in the oven around this time since they take about 35 minutes to cook. The steak only took 15 minutes to prepare, so I saved that for the last moment. As soon as we were ready to start eating, I placed the ramekins with the chocolate cakes in the oven. Those took 11 minutes to cook and needed to cool on a rack for another 10 minutes, so by the time we finished eating, dessert was ready. Keep in mind, we are fast eaters. Normal people probably could have waited to put the dessert in the oven during the second course.
I had never made this dessert before, but for some reason, steak and chocolate desserts are synonymous in my book. Martha Stewart came up with this fabulous dessert. Definitely don't overcook it because the best part is biting into it and watching the chocolate ooze out. To quote my husband, "I feel like we are actually eating in a restaurant." It was that good.
A note about the ingredients: She calls for instant espresso powder, but I couldn't find any. I used instant coffee granules instead, and I thought it still tasted fabulous!
Here is what you will need:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 6-ounce ramekins, then dust with sugar. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20-second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Let cool slightly.
It will be nice and smooth like this...
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt.
The mixture will have a mocha color to it...
Step 3: Add chocolate mixture; whisk to combine.
Step 4: Add flour, and whisk just until combined (do not overmix).
Step 5: Pour batter into prepared ramekins. (Recipe can be made ahead up to this point. I made this about 2 hours before dinner and then placed it in the refrigerator at the start of dinner)
Step 6: Bake until a toothpick inserted 1/2 inch from edge of ramekins comes out clean, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out wet, 10 to 12 minutes (do not overbake). Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around inside of ramekins to loosen. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Dust with sugar; serve immediately.
List of Ingredients for 2 cakes:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for ramekins and serving
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon espresso powder (I used instant coffee powder)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour