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These individual chocolate cakes, served warm from the oven, contain a delicious surprise: their own molten chocolate-fudge center, which oozes out when the cakes are cut open. The center cools and solidifies as the cakes cool, so be sure to serve these warm if you want the true "lava-like" effect.
Note: In this recipe the pecans and or hazelnuts contribute a stronger flavor than almonds will (almond flour is the mildest of all the nut flours). When substituting almond flour for either of those two nut flours, if you would like a noticeable almond flavor, we suggest that you add 1-2 drops bitter almond oil or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.
2 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons praline paste + 1 tablespoon butter; OR 2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
6 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) butter
1/3 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 drops creamy hazelnut or cappuccino chocolate flavoring (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup (1 3/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (1 5/8 ounces) filbert (hazelnut) flour, almond flour OR finely ground hazelnuts or almonds
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
Filling: In a small cup set over hot water, or in the microwave, melt together the 2 1/2 ounces chocolate, hazelnut paste (or butter), and the corn syrup. Stir till smooth, then cool in the refrigerator till the mixture is solid enough to form into balls. Form six balls, set the balls on a plate, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes (longer is OK).
Cakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an extra large ("Texas-size") "big bun" or other large muffin tin, each cup about 4 inches wide x 2 inches deep, and sprinkle with filbert flour (ground hazelnuts) or almond flour. In a double boiler or the microwave, melt the 6 1/2 ounces chocolate. Stir in the butter until it's melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the flavoring oil, vanilla, water, egg yolks, flour, nut flour, and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir until well blended.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar gradually and beat until soft peaks form. Fold half the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture, being sure to get all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Place a heaping 1/2 cup of mix into each muffin cup. Gently smooth the batter, and put one frozen filling ball in each cup. Top with the remaining batter.
Bake the cakes for 20 to 25 minutes; they'll puff up, and crack along the top. Remove the cakes from the oven and turn them out onto a cooling rack. Serve immediately, with raspberries and whipped cream or ice cream. Yield: 6 servings.