March 11, 2012

Chocolate Lava Cake with Lemon Caramel

I was first introduced to lava cakes several years ago at a work party. Lava cakes are simply a cake that doesn't cook all the way through. The outsides are done and when cut open, out flows a delicious chocolate center, like lava! Since that party I have tried and failed to find a recipe that worked well. I've tried all sorts of ingredients but I have never been able to find a consistency and taste that I really liked until now. Last week I attended a work event in Seattle at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School and the dessert we chose was lava cakes. The recipe we used was very simple but tasted great, especially when we added a wonderful lemon flavored caramel sauce. The recipes below yield 6 large or 12 small servings, depending on the size of your ramekins. Enjoy!

1. You may have to adjust the timing of the cakes cooking depending on your oven. They are done when the outside rim is firm but the middle is still wobbly. It took me several attempts to know just when to remove them.
2. If you are having trouble with the cakes sticking to the bottom of your ramekin, try using vegetable spray in addition to the butter, or cut a round out of parchment paper and place that at the bottom before you butter it.

3/4 cup sugar
8 eggs
8 oz chocolate
8 oz butter
1 Tbs vanilla

Lemon Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Grease ramekins with butter, then set aside.
3. In metal bowl, whisk sugar and eggs vigorously, 3-5 minutes until sugar is suspended in egg mixture.

4. Over a double broiler, melt chocolate and butter over low heat.

5. Remove from heat and continue stirring until lukewarm.

6. Slowly mix chocolate mixture into egg mixture, whisking continuously.

7. Pour into ramekins, filling them 1/2 way, then place in oven.

8. Cook for 12-14 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and allow the cake to separate slightly from the side of the ramekin, then with a knife, gently go around the side.

10. Invert onto plate then garnish with caramel sauce.

Lemon Caramel Sauce
1. In medium saucepan, combine sugar and lemon juice over medium heat.
2. Stir constantly until mixture reaches a light brown color.
3. Reduce heat to low and slowly add heavy cream, stirring constantly.

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