Do you know how challenging it is to find desserts that serve just two? This is something that’s bugged me for a while now: it’s late on a weeknight and you’re craving a lovely bit of homemade dessert but lamenting over how much time, effort and guilt it will involve. Thankfully Paula Deen had an easily adaptable cake recipe that was up to the challenge. Is this the best cake recipe I’ve encountered? Nope, but I can get it from the pantry to my mouth in 20 minutes and make exactly enough to satisfy a craving without having a gigantic caloric cake leering at me from the kitchen for 4 days. You know what I’m saying. We’ve all seen that sassy cake leer before.
Late Night Molten Chocolate Cake
Makes 2 perfect portions
2.5 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 – 3 tsp coffee or orange liquor
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave, about a minute. While the chocolate is melting, butter two 8oz ramekins and set aside. Whisk the heated chocolate butter mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg and egg yolk together, then pour into the melted chocolate, whisking quickly as the chocolate is still a bit warm. Whisk in the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and a pinch of salt. When smooth, add in the vanilla extract and your optional liquor of choice. We grabbed the Starbuck’s cream liquor from the cabinet, which has a nice smooth coffee flavor, but this would be delicious with Kahlua, Bailey’s, Cointreau, Grand Marnier… ok, most anything. At 2 tsps, we found the flavor just a liiittle bit overpowering for the chocolate, so next time I’ll take it down to 1. If you like your desserts boozy, go for a full tablespoon. Then divide the batter evenly between the two ramekins.
So this should have taken you all of 4 minutes, excluding the long decision-making process on how best to booze your cakes. Pop those two lovelies into the preheated oven and bake for 13 – 15 minutes. If you like your molten cake really oozy, give the ramekin a shake at 13 minutes. The edges will be set but the center will still be a bit jiggly. I like mine a little more done, almost no jiggle to the cake, the center isn’t completely set, but it doesn’t run, which takes about 15 minutes and is conveniently illustrated in the following picture.
When they come out of the oven, immediately run a sharp paring knife around the edge just to make sure there’s no sticking and invert onto a dessert plate. Dust with powdered sugar and a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you have that on hand. Warm, soft and infinitely moist, it’s a clever cake with its fudgy frosting all cozy on the inside. Yup, don’t mind if I do one bit.