Molten Center Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 lb. bittersweet chocolate, premium quality
1/4 lb. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
3/8 cup all purpose flour, sifted

Special Equipment:
5 four ounce ramekins, buttered and floured

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 375.°

Melt butter and chocolate together over double boiler or in microwave.

Using a stand mixer with whip attachment or hand mixer, whip eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until light and fluffy.

Fold egg sugar mixture into chocolate butter. Gently fold in flour to chocolate mixture until fully incorporated.

Divide batter equally among ramekins. Place ramekins on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 5-8 minutes (until cakes rise). The cakes should still be gooey, or “molten” in the center, after baking. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Chef Notes:
The cakes can be made ahead up to the baking point and then frozen covered with plastic wrap. Allow the cakes come to room temperature before baking.

The cake may be flavored with lavender, cardamom, ginger, mint, cinnamon, or orange by adding dry herbs to the melted butter, steeping 10 to 15 minutes, and then straining. If using lavender or mint, do not steep longer than 8 minutes or you risk it becoming bitter. Then add the chocolate. Around a tablespoon of herbs or spices should do the trick. For flavoring with liqueurs (as in orange, or brandy), add this to the egg mixture. Adding liquid to melted chocolate may cause the chocolate to “seize”, rendering it useless for this recipe.