Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Molten Chocolate Cake With Candied Walnuts

I only learned that February is National Chocolate Month a couple of days ago and I absolutely had to make something with dark chocolate today - despite the fact that we're still working on a small pan of brownies from last weekend. Some whipped cream remained from last week's citrus curd tart and there was plenty of chocolate in my cupboard so I got busy this afternoon.

I've been craving molten chocolate cake for quite a while. I visited my recipe file and sorted through a few different options before I settled on this one, from and Terlato Wines International.

I've given you the entire original recipe. However, I'm not a huge fan of candied nuts so I didn't use that part of the directions, myself. But this is one easy and luscious dessert - whether or not you add nuts. The recipe is also something that you can prepare ahead and then bake just before you share it with appreciative dinner guests.

Molten Chocolate Cake with Candied Walnuts
Makes 8 servings

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

cocoa powder (my addition)

Butter 8 six-ounce ceramic ramekins and dust with flour. In a bowl over a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate, set aside and let cool.

In a mixing bowl, use electric mixer to combine eggs and sugar until pale yellow batter holds shape and forms ribbon on beaters.
Blend flour into egg-sugar mixture with the mixer for 3 minutes. Add chocolate mixture, being careful to incorporate everything; mix for 2 more minutes.

Pour about 6 ounces of batter into each ramekin and refrigerate for 1 hour (VOE - I cooked one after an hour of refrigeration and then several more after three hours of refrigeration and the creamy, gooey texture was the same in both cases).

In preheated 475 degree oven, bake ramekins on a cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes, or until they are puffed up and don't jiggle when moved. Remove from oven and serve immediately (VOE - despite the high temperature, these babies cool off quickly so you'll only need to let them rest for about five minutes before serving). Can be served with chocolate sauce or cocoa powder, whipped cream and candied walnuts (see below).
For walnuts:

3 cups walnuts, toasted
1 3/4 cups sugar
pinch of kosher salt

Cook sugar until melted and slightly amber colored. Mix walnuts, sugar and salt together, being sure to coat the nuts and let cool on a non-stick surface such as a slit pad or baker's paper.


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