Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lava Baby Cakes

Every Valentine's dinner should conclude with the perfect, decadent dessert. When I found myself drooling over the picture of these Lava Baby Cakes in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I knew that this would be the recipe for our Valentine's dinner dessert.

For the filling of these Lava Cakes, melt 3/4 cup of chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of whipping cream over low heat. Remove from heat and cool, then chill for 45 minutes until firm.

Meanwhile, cook and stir 1 cup of chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of butter over low heat. Ahhh. Butter. Remove from heat and cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla on high speed for 5 minutes until lemon colored.

Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture on medium speed.

Sift flour and cocoa powder over the mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.

This is where you are supposed to grease and flour your souffle or custard cups. I had other ideas for my Baby Cakes. I only get to use this heart shaped cupcake pan once a year and I'm not missing my chance.

Fill cups 1/3 full with batter.

Form filling into balls. Place 1 ball in the center of each cake.

Cover with remaining batter. Bake at 400 degrees until the cakes feel firm at the edges.

Cool in the dishes for two to three minutes. Loosen cake from the sides of the pan, using a knife. Invert onto dessert plates and garnish.

If one dessert is good, two are better. I served these Lava Baby Cakes alongside chocolate covered strawberries. See the chocolate to the left of the cake?

Here's the story...we're new to the area and apparently these chocolate covered strawberries from Malley's Chocolate's are all the rave around Valentine's Day. People wait in line. The strawberries sell out. They're a hot commodity. My husband returned from the barber shop talking about these strawberries. Everyone was excited about Malley's chocolate covered strawberries. I mentioned to a friend on Saturday morning that my husband was going on a quest for this Valentine's Day delicacy. "Did he get in line early?" She asked. I replied that he hadn't left yet. "Oh. That's too bad. They sell out fast." Well, as luck would have it, he somehow obtained 2 of the last 10 boxes of these strawberries.

Here's the box. Actually, they came wrapped up in pretty paper and tied with a bow.

You're supposed to enjoy them within in 2 days. Can I just say I don't even want to step on the scales on Monday. Tortellini, Lava Baby Cakes, AND chocolate covered strawberries. I mean, we can't let them go to waste...

Just look at these! At first I was a skeptic. Sure, I like chocolate covered strawberries. But why are these so special that people stand in line? I'm used to the hand dipped, top exposed, stem still out variety with a few layers of delicious chocolate coating on the outside. These were actually fully coated, like a truffle. And the strawberry was fresh and sweet and PERFECT! These were amazing. Just amazing.

Lava Baby Cakes from Better Homes and Gardens
3/4 cup butter
2 T whipping cream
10 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate pieces (1 3/4 cup)
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
powdered sugar, optional
raspberries, optional
1. For filling, in a small heavy saucepan combine 3/4 cup of chocolate pieces and whipping cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Cool, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill about 45 minutes or until firm.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium heavy saucepan cook and stir the remaining 1 cup chocolate pieces and the butter over low heat until melted. Remove from heat; cool.

3. Form filling into 6 equal sized balls. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour six 1- to 1 1/4-cup soufflé dishes or six 10-ounce custard cups. Place soufflé dishes or custard cups in a shallow baking pan and set pan aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture on medium speed. Sift flour and cocoa over chocolate mixture; beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into dishes. Place 1 ball of filling into each dish. Spoon remaining batter into dishes.

4. Bake 13 minutes or until cakes feel firm at the edge. Cool in dishes for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a small spatula or knife, loosen cake edges from sides of dish or cup and slip cake out upright onto individual dessert plates. If desired, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings

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