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point of no return

Spring Break started for me yesterday and I have never been more relieved. It’s not so much the act of going to school that drains me but the outside work that school requires. The readings, the group projects, etc. They take up my time and energy but the end is near. With only one more semester to go, I’m proud to say that I’ve reached the point of no return. No going back, you are almost done!

Because I was in an awfully chipper mood with Spring Break upon me, I thoroughly enjoyed baking this week’s Tuesday’s With Dorie pick from Leigh at Lemon Tartlet. Hard work deserves a pleasurable treat and this Gooey Chocolate Cake ranks high as one of my ultimate favorites. I’ve made molten cakes like this before and have enjoyed every rich bite.

I compare these molten gooey cakes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my home to yours as the ultimate guilty pleasure. They aren’t particularly gorgeous show-stoppers and they are tiny compared to other dessert options like the stunning Lemon Layer Cake or decadent Chocolate Buttermilk Birthday Cake. But these babies pack a mean punch.

Their gooey melting bittersweet chocolate centers with their crusty outsides is enough to make you want to sell your soul if you could just eat these cakes for the rest of your life. No joke. My soul is up for sale if the rest of my days had this cake in it. The way the cake sinks as your fork slices its way into the center as the molten insides seep out is enough to evoke a haiku or sonnet from even the most stunted poets like me.

I made a few changes to the recipe. Instead of muffin tins, I used two small ramekins as not to waste any leftover cakes. I was a little nervous about the conversion from smaller tins to 2 bigger portions and after 10 minutes baking, I felt that they needed a little extra time. Instead of 13 minutes baking time, I kept them in the oven for about 17 minutes before I took them out in fear of overbaking.  Also, I added the chopped chocolate into the batter directly, not after for the chocolate topping.

The final result turned out pretty well, I must say. The edges were cakey- baked but not overly dry and in the middle was an extra gooey center, probably more liquid than the recipe calls for but I’m not complaining. It was like eating some yummy cake batter: you can never get enough!

Word of caution: whip out a jug of milk for you to wash down the sticky chocolate batter or else you might start dying of thirst as you try to shovel the whole thing in your mouth. Just a tip :)

Gooey Chocolate Cake
from Baking from my home to yours

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
4 ounces coarsely chopped,
1 ounce very finely chopped
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons of sugar

Getting ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogenous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)

Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.

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April 1, 2008 - 7:23 am

Rebecca - Wow, those centers are gorgeous! Love the pic of the milk glass. ;)

April 1, 2008 - 8:31 am

smellslikehome - i love how gooey your centers got! great job!!

April 1, 2008 - 9:31 am

Madam Chow - Gorgeous photos!!! I love that purple background, and all the wonderful goo coming out of your cake!

April 1, 2008 - 9:40 am

Marie - You’ve really got some great goo going on there! I think your cakes look fabulous! Mine were more fudgy than gooey, but they did taste delicious, especially with a drizzle of muscovado toffee sauce and some clotted cream!!

April 1, 2008 - 11:46 am

noskos - Wow, those look great!!!

April 1, 2008 - 12:01 pm

Annemarie - Love the pics! THAT is exactly what a gooey cake should look like!

April 1, 2008 - 12:25 pm

April - Oh my! These look sooo good!!

April 1, 2008 - 1:17 pm

a. grace - great googa-mooga, that’s some amazing goo. looks like a real lick-your-fingers kind of dessert–my favorite!

April 1, 2008 - 4:59 pm

Robin - Holy Moly! This looks absolutely DECADENT! I loove that last pic.

Damn you! I’m craving chocolate now like crazy!! ;)

April 1, 2008 - 5:41 pm

Rachel - I love the goo! Great job!!

April 1, 2008 - 5:53 pm

Natalie - Wow, that’s some major molten goo!

April 1, 2008 - 6:27 pm

Gretchen Noelle - Love the gooey center! Looks like you achieved what everyone tried to do. And those photos – stunning!!!

April 1, 2008 - 6:27 pm

slush - That photo is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous!

April 1, 2008 - 7:13 pm

Amanda - Gretchen- I think using ramekins instead of the muffin tins helped with the goo factor. I probably underbaked them a little for their size, but I’m not complaining!

Robin- Go forth and eat some chocolate haha.

April 1, 2008 - 7:28 pm

Tarah - Beautiful. Simply beautiful :]

April 2, 2008 - 12:20 am

go2alam - nyam nyam :)

April 2, 2008 - 4:38 am

Caitlin - Wow, sizing up the baking containers really made them gooey! Now those are definitely lava cakes – nice job!

April 2, 2008 - 5:07 am

Patricia Scarpin - Your photos are breathtaking, Amanda!

April 2, 2008 - 3:01 pm

Heather - Perfect! Love all the chocolate oozing out! Great job!

April 3, 2008 - 7:12 am

tammy - I saw your photos of your gooey cakes and thought they MUST taste good. So I used your recipe and the cakes are wonderful! My family loved them. Your work is definitely inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

April 4, 2008 - 6:57 am

Amanda - Glad you liked them Tammy :)

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