Chocolate cake

How to make an easy melted chocolate cake at home

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If you’re staying on Valentine’s Day, make it extra special with your favorite meal and a decadent flourless melted chocolate cake. Naturally gluten-free and made with just six ingredients, this fudge cake has the elements of a classic chocolate cake as well as a soufflé.

Molten chocolate cakes are often found on restaurant menus, but you can easily make your own, with a cake-like texture on the outside and gooey chocolate lava on the inside.

Making these melted chocolate cakes isn’t as complicated as it looks. It’s a two-step process. First, melt the butter and chocolate together and mix them with the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Then slowly incorporate the eggs and egg yolks. The combination of eggs and yolks makes for a super dense cake that will bake to a cake-like texture around the edges, but still have a soft, runny center.

Once the dough is made, it should be refrigerated for 30 minutes to allow it to cool and thicken. While the batter is cooling, prepare individual ramekins with melted butter or cooking spray and dust with cocoa powder to make sure the cakes come out of the ramekins.

Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, bake the cakes, then carefully place an inverted plate on top of each ramekin and invert to release the cakes. Cakes can also be served in ramekins for a clean and easy presentation.

Now add the toppings! Adding raspberries, strawberries or other fresh fruit is a great delicate option, or try ice cream, caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream.

Kristen Massad of Dallas, pastry chef and graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, blogs at joyoliver.com.

Flourless Melted Chocolate Cake by Kristen Massad
Flourless Melted Chocolate Cake by Kristen Massad(Kristen Massad)

Flourless melted chocolate cake

1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra to line the ramekins

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

4 eggs

4 egg yolks

Haute Goat's Chaource, made in Longview, bottom center, and Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam Triple Cream Cheese, served with Brut Champagne and California Sparkling Wine

Combine chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High in 30 second increments until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth; put aside.

In a mixing bowl with a paddle, combine the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Pour the melted chocolate into the mixer bowl and continue to mix on low speed until completely blended. Slowly add the eggs and egg yolks to the chocolate mixture and mix on medium speed until all the eggs are incorporated. Pour the batter into a bowl or container and refrigerate for 30 minutes (the batter will thicken).

While the batter cools, spray 6-8 individual ramekins with nonstick cooking spray or brush them with melted butter and dust with cocoa powder to make sure the cakes come out of the ramekins. Preheat the oven to 350 F and place the prepared ramekins on a baking sheet.

Pour the batter into ramekins and fill them 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the sides of the cake appear cooked, but the center is still soft.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Serve the cakes in the ramekins or gently place an upside-down plate.

Once the cake is out of the ramekins, garnish and serve immediately!

Make Ahead: If you want to make these ahead of time, make the dough 2-3 days before your event and place it in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to use it, let the batter come to room temperature, pour it into ramekins on the day of your event, then bake for 18-20 minutes before you’re ready to serve. If you bake the dough cold, it will require a longer baking time (about 25 minutes).

Makes 6 to 8 ramekins.

Al Biernat is offering red velvet heart-shaped pancakes this year as part of its Valentine's Day offerings.
Flourless Melted Chocolate Cake by Kristen Massad
Flourless Melted Chocolate Cake by Kristen Massad(Kristen Massad)

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