Molten Chocolate Cakes with Mint Fudge Sauce

Can’t decide which dessert to make for Valentine’s Day?  Well, let me help you decide!  You know how the night before a condemned prisoner is executed he gets to select anything he wants for his last meal?  Well, if I were that prisoner, I’d pick this dessert.  In fact, I’d ask for as many of them as they’d give me and call it supper!

The name of this outrageously decadent dessert comes straight off the pages of  Bon Appétit, but I refer to it as the “death row dessert.”  Yes, it is a dessert to die for!

The blogosphere is awash with red-velvet-this and red-velvet-that recipes for Valentine’s Day.  While I will admit to dipping a toothpick into red food paste to tint a frosting pink on occasion, I draw the line at adding 1 oz. (that’s the whole bottle, folks) of red food dye #40 to anything.  So, you won’t find any red velvet cake recipes here.  What you will find is pure unadulterated chocolate in all its glory.

I have been making these luscious chocolate-oozing cakes with their fabulous fudge sauce since I first saw them in Bon Appétit over 10 years ago.  It’s a recipe from the chef owner of Tru, an upscale Chicago restaurant.  Word is you’ve got to take a second mortgage out on your home in order to eat there and pay the bill.  Roger and I have never eaten there, but who cares when you can have a dessert this good at home?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Molten Chocolate Cakes with Mint Fudge Sauce

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Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. peppermint extract

Ingredients for the Cakes

  • 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Vanilla ice cream

Directions

For sauceStir both chocolates in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted.  (I microwaved the two chocolates together following package directions.)  Add 1/3 cup hot water, corn syrup and extract; whisk until smooth.  Remove from over water.  Cool slightly.  (Can be made 2 days ahead.  Cover; chill. Before serving, rewarm in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.)

For cakesPreheat oven to 450°F.  Butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups.  Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted.  (I microwaved the chocolate and butter together following the directions on the package of chocolate.)  Cool slightly.  Whisk eggs and egg yolks in large bowl to blend.  Whisk in vanilla, sugar, then chocolate mixture and flour.  Pour batter into dishes, dividing equally.  This is where a kitchen scale comes in incredibly handy.  I put a custard cup on the scale and zeroed out the weight.  Once I filled each custard cup, the weight of the batter averaged 14 oz. each.  (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover; chill.)

Bake cakes until sides are set but center remains soft and runny, about 11 to 13 minutes (mine are perfect at exactly 13 minutes) or up to 14 minutes for batter that was refrigerated.  You should see a little quarter-sized indentation in the middle of the cake.

Run small knife around cakes to loosen.  Immediately turn cakes out onto plates.  Spoon sauce around cakes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.  Don’t skip the ice cream—you will need it to balance the intense chocolate!  Makes 6.

Fran’s Notes

These cakes are slightly underbaked so that the chocolate center oozes when you cut into it.  I use organic eggs and have never had a problem with anyone getting sick from the slight underbaking.  If you are serving this to anyone elderly or young children, I would buy pasteurized eggs to be on the safe side.

I do not have 3/4-cup custard cups/ramekins, so I used my 1-cup ramekins.  I mention this because the batter will probably come up higher if you use the smaller ramekins called for in original recipe.

I’m not a major chocolate-raspberry fan—but, for those of you who are fans of the combo, feel free to swap out the fudge sauce for a raspberry sauce.

Source:  A Bon Appétit recipe

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