Over the last few months, I’ve been on the quest for the perfect brownie recipe. I love rich, fudge-y (not cake-y) brownies, with dark chocolate, that can be made in under half an hour prep time. In other words, they need to be amazing at the spur of the moment for that night’s dessert. This has been a delicious quest which my husband is truly appreciating.
During my search, a few weeks ago, I came across a molten chocolate cake recipe. It was pretty good, quick and easy, but after tinkering with it a bit, and applying some of the techniques and twists I’ve acquired during my perfect brownie search, I think I came up with the best molten chocolate cake recipe ever.
Step one: preheat the oven to 400° and butter and dust your muffin tin with cocoa powder or granulated sugar. My only muffin tin has 12 cups, but you need only six for this recipe.
Now, in a double boiler, melt butter and dark chocolate chips together. Just so you know, with a double boiler, the boiling water should not be touching the bottom of the upper pan.
Also, I added chile powder, because I’m addicted to chocolate and chiles. And chiles in all their forms are just awesome.
If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a heat proof bowl set over a pan of boiling water. But the bowl should not be in the water – just over it.
After everything is all melted and mixed together, pour it into a mixing bowl with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Whisk the chocolate mixture with the sugar, and then add three eggs, whisking well.
The chocolate mixture will get all gloopy and shiny looking. At this point, mix in flour and a pinch of salt.
Then fill up your muffin cups. Go ahead and fill them to the top, they don’t rise much.
Then set the muffin tin on a baking sheet and put them both in the oven. This is actually kind of important. It’s not to contain the mess or anything (there’s no mess), but I think it insulates the bottom of the muffin pan. When I tried not using the baking sheet, the cakes came out too well done at the bottom.
Anyway. Bake them until the tops are set. For me this is 12 minutes. It might be more or less for you, keep an eye on them. You only want them set, not cooked through. Like this:
Let them rest in the pan for ten minutes. Set your timer and read a blog post, answer some email, wash up your mixing bowl. Whatever.
Then plate them up hot and enjoy…
Spicy Hot Lava Cakes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 TBS hot Chimayo chile powder (or other New Mexican chile powder)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
butter and cocoa powder or sugar for dusting muffin tins
Preheat oven to 400°. Butter and dust 6 muffin tins. In a double boiler or a heat proof bowl set over (not in) boiling water, melt together the butter, chocolate and chile powder. When melted and combined, whisk chocolate mixture into brown sugar. Beat in eggs. Combine the flour and salt and fold into the chocolate mixture. Divide batter between the prepared muffin cups.
Set muffin tin on a baking sheet, and bake for approx. 12 minutes, just until the top is set. Remove from oven and let stand 10 more minutes before serving. Enjoy hot (and spicy).
*Note: for my friends who like it on the milder side, you can use less chile powder or none at all, and they still turn out scrumptious.