Molten Lava Cake; Food Styling by Patricia Bainter, thepatricianpalette.com, Mark Woolcott Photography

These impressive little cakes are easy to make and produce a soft cake with a crispy exterior and a rich, molten chocolate center. If you’d like to melt anyone’s heart this Valentine’s Day, this would be the recipe to try.

To get the best molten center, I recommend the shorter baking time of 14 minutes. Sixteen minutes, in my oven, didn’t leave much of a molten center, which might make nervous nellies more comfortable. It won’t be a Molten Lava Cake, but it will still be incredibly delicious.

Food Styling by Patricia Bainter, The Patrician Palette.com
Food Photography by Mark Woolcott Photography
Recipe by Food Fairy Productions, Chef Lynda Lacher
More chocolate recipes by Chef Lynda in the February, 2012 issue of Indulge in Denver magazine

Molten Lava CakeMolten Lava Cakes

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
8 tablespoons softened butter (1 stick) – divided
Granulated sugar for ramekins
1½ cups powdered sugar
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup flour (all purpose)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons liquor of your choice (Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Kahula…)

Preheat oven to 400º
Coat 6 six-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon of the butter and granulated sugar, set aside.

Melt the chocolate and remaining butter in a double boiler pan. Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture; stir to blend. Remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs and yolks until smooth; blend into the chocolate mixture. Add the flour and mix well. Stir in the vanilla and liquor flavoring.

Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Put into the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center runny. Check with a toothpick. Serve in the ramekin or run a knife around the edge to loosen and invert onto a dessert plate.

Patricia Bainter is a blogger and writer for 303magazine. She trained at Le Cordon Bleu London and shares her culinary musings and recipes at her own website ThePatricianPalette.com. Photos by  Mark Woolcott Photography.

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