Easy Chocolate Lava Cake

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I love a cake that is only a few ingredients and cooks all in one pan…and is decadently chocolate. I have ordered Molten Lava Cakes out at restaurants, but since I am not going to restaurants right now, what better time to try one at home. I saw this one on Williams Sonoma Instagram and made a few adjustments.

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted…plus more for dusting
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly butter six ramekins and dust with cocoa powder. Set the ramekins on a small baking sheet.
  • In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the chocolate and butter. Set the pan over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan and melt the chocolate and butter, then whisk until the mixture is glossy and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attachment, or a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks, 3 Tbs. of the sugar, and cocoa powder on medium-high speed until thick. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture and beat until well blended. The mixture will be thick and somewhat grainy looking. Detach bowl from stand mixer if using, set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, using clean mixer whisk or beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they are very foamy and thick. Sprinkle in the remaining 3 Tbs. sugar and increase the speed to high. Continue beating until firm, glossy peaks form. You can tell they are ready when you detach whisk, turn upside down and peaks stay firm.
  • Spoon half of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture and fold in just blended. Add the remaining whites and fold gently until just blended. Spoon into the prepared ramekins, dividing evenly.
  • Bake the cakes until they are puffed and the tops are cracked, about 25-30 minutes. The inside of the cracks will look very wet. Remove from the oven and serve immediately in the ramekins.

    **I had some leftover cakes and refrigerated. They were delicious the next day after just 30 seconds in the microwave.

Tip: If you want something perfect to accompany this, I served it with a scoop of Helados La Neta, a handcrafted ice cream inspired by flavors of Mexico. I served the Horchata flavor, and just wow!

Cooking in Quarantine: Easy Chocolate Orange Cake

I never use pre-made mixes…for anything…but in times like these, a girl has got to relent. My daughter loves my Tigerlily Cake- a mashup of orange and chocolate cakes topped with rich chocolate ganache. It is also one of my go-to potluck desserts because well, it’s super yummy!

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Originally I posted about this delicious cake when I made it for my department meeting before I retired. Now that Liv is home from college and sheltering in place with us, an opportunity to dust this one off presented itself. This time my supply pantry was getting a little sparse, and it seems everyone out there is looking for easy, quick desserts. I caved and bought a yellow cake mix and a dark chocolate cake mix.

I used Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix with a couple of hacks.

  • Swap out the liquid for fresh squeezed orange juice- I took me two oranges, and I used the zest in the batter for extra orangeiness.
  • Add one extra egg
  • Switch out melted butter for oil

Mix it up and pour into a nonstick bundt pan you have sprayed or buttered.

Now time for the chocolate cake. I used the Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge mix.

Again, I modded it… a little. Also, I did not even rinse the standmixer bowl so the chocolate cake gets a boost of orange as well.

  • Add one extra egg yolk
  • Switch out melted butter for oil
  • Switch out milk for water

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The super easy, no special equipment method for chocolate ganache. All you need is a good-sized glass measuring cup 🙂 and a few ingredients.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 oz. good chocolate (I like Ghirardelli Dark chips)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (adjust as needed for smooth consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Put everything in the measuring cup and microwave. You just want the cream to warm and the chocolate to soften.
  • Stir and pour glaze over finished cake.

Here is the original post with from scratch recipes for when you have more time and supplies.

After a short trip to the store for ingredient acquisition, we donned our aprons and got to work. Tigerlily cake is a blend of two different cake flavors- orange and chocolate. Some people have aversions to this combo, but we love it. We mix up the orange cake first- it is really a fabby yellow cake with fresh squeezed orange juice substituted for the liquid and heaping teaspoons of orange zest. I do this one first because when you assemble, it goes in the pan first and there is the added bonus you can use the same mixing bowl and it will just lend the chocolate a complimentary profile. I adapted the wonderful yellow cake recipe I got from Smitten Kitchen for the orange cake. Liv did all the measuring and mixing while I prepped the pans with butter and preheated the oven. I love the way a kitchen smells when you zest an orange- fresh and reminiscent of walking the groves in Florida.

Ingredients:

Orange Cake (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter one Bundt pan.
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 stick  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of one large orange, fresh squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (zest over batter bowl to capture oils from peel)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I like Homestead Creamery)

Instructions:

  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  • At low speed, beat in buttermilk, orange juice and zest until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
  • Once you have that mixed up, pour into your prepared Bundt pan.

The orange cake is lighter and will rise to the top while baking. This will give the cake its flowery appearance with the two cakes colors merging.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake

  • 1  cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 stick  unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ( I like roasted Saigon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Instructions:

  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cayenne and salt in a separate medium bowl.
  • Using the paddle attachment for your mixer, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed until  fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla.
  • At low speed, beat in half the flour mixture. Alternate beating in the sour cream with the flour mixture until all is incorporated.
  • Layer into the Bundt pan by pouring around middle of orange batter. I like to use a chopstick to swirl the batter. The chocolate batter will immediately start to move to the bottom revealing the orange batter.
  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine is old and finnicky so I check when we hit the 35 minute mark. You want it to rise so don’t be afraid. It is done when a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then invert onto your cake carrier to await ganache. After the cake is inverted, I like to squeeze another orange around the top of the cake. This adds that extra level of moistness and infuses more of the orange flavor throughout.

Now it’s time for the ganache. Ganache can be super easy as long as you pay attention to it. You don’t want to breakdown the chocolate so much that it becomes grainy. You want a smooth topping to spread on you luscious cake.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 oz. good chocolate (I like Ghirardelli Dark chips)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (adjust as needed for smooth consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Bring water to a boil in a double boiler.
  • Add chocolate to top of double boiler. Stir to ensure chocolate melts but does not seize.
  • Once the chocolate was pretty melty, add the heavy cream and cinnamon. Once it melds, remove from heat and allow to cool a couple minutes before ladling it on the cake.

Needless to say, the cake was enjoyed by all and Liv has one more recipe in her arsenal!

Note to self- get better at taking food photos!

Stay Safe and Cook On!

Other Posts in the Quarantine Series:

 

Baking with Booze

Now that we no longer know what day it is, seems fitting to bring some booze into the recipes. This week I took a family favorite, Clafoutis, and gave it a makeover with a few different types of fruit and alcohol. I know the name sounds fancy, but it is really just a French custard cake made with seven ingredients. I adapted my mother recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

 

Ingredients:IMG_5427

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsps unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsps liqueur of choice (I have tried Rum, Frangelico, Amaretto)
  • 2 generous cups fruit of choice (I have tried apples, peaches, blueberries, cherries)

**Tip** DO NOT USE CITRUS FRUIT…it will curdle your batter

**Tip2**Gird your loins if you pick cherries…pitting is not for the faint of heart

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400. Beat the sugar and eggs together with a whisk or in a stand mixer with whisk attachment, until they lighten in color. Gradually add butter, beating to incorporate.
  • Add the flour and salt all at once and whisk until the batter is combined. Next, slowly pour in the cream. Add the booze of choice, mixing well. The batter should be very smooth and shiny. Detach your bowl if using a stand mixer and move it to the fridge. the batter needs to rest 30 minutes before baking.
  • Meanwhile in a separate bowl, mix your fruit and liqueur together to macerate (fancy word for how the fruit absorbs the liqueur). Depending on fruit I add a few other ingredients to this party. For example, brown sugar and cinnamon for apples. Use your judgement and what you like.
  • Arrange half of your fruit in a buttered glass or earthenware baking dish, cake pan (9 or 10 inches in diameter) or skillet that can go in the oven. (I used a 9-inch cake pan.)
  • Remove your batter from fridge and add the liqueur left in fruit bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour the batter over the fruit. Arrange the rest of fruit on top of batter.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly browned and almost completely set in the middle. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving.

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Stay Safe and Bake On!

 

Cooking in Quarantine: Easy Apple Cake

You gotta love a cake you can mix in one bowl, dump batter in pan and bake, almost without fail, perfectly. I give you my favorite Apple Spice Cake w/Caramel Glaze.

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Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dk. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 large granny smith apples, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Glaze:

  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dk. brown sugar

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 in. bundt pan.
  • In a stand mixer, beat together sugars and oil for cake until combined. Add eggs and vanilla on low speed, scraping down bowl as needed.
  • Add flour, baking soda, spices, and dash salt to stand mixer. (I know, every recipe says mix separately and combine ingredients one at a time, but I have tried both ways with same result- this is EASIER.)
  • Once batter is smooth, shut mixer off and grab a silicone spatula. Add the apples and walnuts and fold into batter with spatula. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.

***Do not skip on thoroughly buttering and flouring pan. The ease of release once baked will be your reward 🙂

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  • Bake the cake for ~70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. This gives you time to make the glaze and for the cake to settle for easy release.

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  • In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the glaze. Bring to a boil, stirring for a smooth consistency. Boil about 3 minutes or until it begins to thicken- keep stirring. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Center your serving platter over the top of bundt pan, and invert.

 

I usually take a butter knife and tap the pan just for good measure. Lift the pan and behold the beauty!

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  • The last step is to pour glaze over the finished cake. I do this very slowly to ensure good coverage.

Stay Safe and Cook On!

Other Posts in Cooking Quarantine series: