I love chocolate cake. It’s one of my biggest cravings, one that pops up over and over again (almost always late at night). But in the last few years, I’ve noticed something disturbing (to me, at least): I don’t seem to be able to eat it anymore. Take last month, for instance:
Brandon was out with some friends so I was home alone. For some reason when I’m home alone I always want to bake so I decided I would finally indulge my chocolate cake craving and make a cake. After looking though my delicious account, I decided to try Smitten Kitchen’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate cake. So I went to all the trouble of making the cake layers and the two different kinds of icing and after a couple hours finally sat down with a delicious looking piece of it to eat. I took two bites, two bites, and I had to set it down. I couldn’t eat anymore. It’s not a bad cake, in fact, it’s a wonderful cake but it was just so rich that it was too much for me. I thought maybe the peanut butter and chocolate icings were the problem but when I took another bite of just the cake it was still too much.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Despite my love for chocolate cake, I can’t remember the last time I had a whole piece. I don’t know if my tastes changed or what, but I seem to be unable to eat any really rich, uber sweet desserts anymore. I know this a good thing as far as my diet is concerned, but it still makes me sad. Apparently it’s possible to love something, but not really like it anymore. How does that work? What is wrong with my brain or my body that I get insane cravings for chocolate cake and then can’t even eat it?!
But there’s hope! That’s where today’s recipe comes in. These Molten Chocolate cakes? Oh, I can eat these. I can eat a lot of these, in fact. And they are wonderful. They are rich and chocolaty, but not but too much. Maybe it’s the fact that they are cupcake sized and therefore easier to handle than a big slab of cake. Or maybe it’s because they don’t have icing to overpower the chocolaty goodness. Or maybe it’s the addition of a raspberry on top that makes me feel less guilty because, hey, I’m filling my daily fruit requirement, thank you very much.
I also like this recipe because it’s very easy to halve or double depending on your needs. I halved the recipe and got 6 little cakes, which is the perfect amount for our two person household. I get to satisfy my chocolate craving without feeling guilty like I do when I make a whole cake. These are best served right out of the oven, obviously, so that the center will be gooey and warm, but the batter is very forgiving. This recipe is beyond easy to make. If you wanted to serve these after dinner, you can make the batter ahead of time (up to 6 hours), pour it in your cupcake pan and refrigerate. Take the pan out before dinner to bring it back to room temp, then put it in the oven while you’re clearing the table. The cakes are ready in 10 minutes. You can pretty them up with some fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar or serve just as they are. Either way they are delicious.
Molten Chocolate Cakes
adapted from Pam Anderson in an article for USA Weekend
Dessert | Servings: 8 to 12
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 30 min
- 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
- 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips, or bars, cut into bite-size chunks
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tsp. flour
- 6 oz. fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a standard-size muffin tin (1/2 cup capacity) with 8 extra-large muffin cups or 12 regular sized cups. Spray with cooking spray.
- Melt butter and chocolate over low heat or in a double broiler; remove from heat.
- Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat chocolate into the egg mixture until smooth. Mix in flour until just combined.
- Divide batter among the muffin cups. Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan and peel off the paper.
- Dust the tops with powdered sugar. Roll slightly moistened raspberries in regular sugar (Note: I’m not sure the sugar rolling is really necessary, especially if you are dusting the cakes with powdered sugar, I’ll probably just use plain raspberries next time) and place on top of each cake (the middle will start to fall in, don’t worry this normal, but this is another reason they are best served right out of the oven as they droop more and more as time goes on). Serve immediately.