This recipe is for all you love birds out there. Or even you non love birds! Need a recipe that’s fairly easy to make for a special someone this weekend? Maybe you just want to make some for you? Either way, make them because, frankly, they are quite delicious. And decadent! And small yet satisfying!
I’ve tried this recipe three times now, all with different results. So when I say it’s fairly easy, know that it’s also somewhat tricky. The tricky part is how long to bake them so that the middle is still that molten consistency. Before we get too ahead of the game, though, let’s start off with chocolate.
I’ve made this with bittersweet chocolate on one recipe trial run and the next time I tried it with semi-sweet chocolate because the kiddo begged me to. She wasn’t as crazy about the bittersweet chocolate as I was. She loved the semi-sweet chocolate version while I most definitely prefer the bittersweet variety. Just know your audience and you can cater to their taste buds if you wish.
Either way, both make incredibly lick-able batter! Also good to know. Wink.
Another very important factor – the buttering and sugaring of the individual muffin pan cups. Even if you’re using a non-stick muffin pan, if you don’t butter the cups really well (no, seriously, really well), they might stick. And then they’ll fall out in a gooey pile, which you will woefully regret yet likely nonetheless devour. Because it will still be YUM. But in case you’d like them to not stick, butter, butter, butter.
The batter starts out pretty loose, but thickens more (and quickly) as you get ready to fill the muffin cups almost completely. Leave about a quarter-inch or so from the top of each cup. Again, I highly recommend licking any leftover batter while the cakes bake. Sweet. Serenity!
A visual of how full we tried to get our muffin cups – not completely, but almost.
The cakes are supposed to be at the right consistency when they are set on the outsides, but still jiggle in the middle. This is not as easy as it seems. The first and second times I made these, they were baked at the same temperature for the exact same amount of time, yet the second batch didn’t cook nearly enough. Baking is sometimes a mystery!
It’s also a mystery how you can get them out of the pan but then onto individual plates without collapsing/deflating/you-get-it. But….it’s chocolate! And the result is at least decadent and delicious! Yep, I’m making them again despite the recipe’s lack of consistent results.
One thing that will make these wittle fellas look extra inviting is a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Rain down the sweetness!
These taste like, basically, a brownie, but one that’s been put into overdrive. If you can get them baked to that molten, melted consistency inside, enjoy the heck out of them. Even if they’re a little more done, they’re still like a rich fudge brownie. Serve them with some whipped cream or, even better, vanilla ice cream. Treat somebody special this weekend or even just yourself – you’re special, too, after all! Enjoy!
Molten Chocolate Cakes
from Everyday Food, December 2003 via MarthaStewart.com
- 4 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter 4 cups of a standard muffin tin. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, and tap out excess. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour and salt until just combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Fold in chocolate. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
Bake just until tops of cakes are set, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand in the pan 10 minutes.
To serve, turn out cakes, and place on serving plates. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and add a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Melting the chocolate is easy with a microwave: chop into pieces and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave at regular power for 20-30 seconds, stir and repeat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Alternately you can heat chopped chocolate over low heat in a pan on the stove top, stirring often till melted. Remove from burner when done to cool slightly.
We never folded the chocolate in, we just turned the mixer on the lowest speed and gently incorporated it that way.
To turn out the cakes, use either a serving platter that’s wider than the muffin pan. If they didn’t pull away from the muffin cup wells, try running a small sharp knife around their edges. Place the platter over the top of the muffin pan and, while grasping the two together at the same time, flip over till the muffin pan is on top. Let the pan rest on the platter for a minute if necessary, till the cakes release.
These are best the day you make them. You could possibly make them a little before you need to serve them and reheat them very briefly in the microwave before serving. Leftovers were stored on the countertop for a couple of days or you can keep them in the refrigerator a little longer if you’re just keeping them for yourself. Note that longer reheating times in the microwave may cause the middles to set further, but again, they still tasted great more firm. If making them for guests, the recipe is at least quick and easy.