My dad is the BIGGEST chocolate lover... ever! To him, dessert isn't dessert unless there is chocolate involved. Whenever we would eat out at restaurants, we could take one glance at the dessert menu and know exactly which one he would order; it's always whatever option is was most ooey gooey and chocolatey....either a hot fudge brownie sundae, a molten chocolate lava cake, or some fudgey chocolate mountain cake. On top of that, he always asks for extra vanilla ice cream with whichever dessert he orders (a bad habit I've picked up). I mean, the man knows how to do dessert right.... and now I'm so busted if he reads this.
Anyway, I've always wanted to learn to make those lava cakes that we would see at his favorite restaurants, but I always thought they were super tricky. I have finally learned and it was SO much easier than I thought! In fact, you can make all of it in about 10 minutes if you can multitask. Mix the yolks while the chocolate is melting, stir those two together, and once you beat the egg whites these little souffles are in the oven before you know it- all in less than 10 minutes!
They are great for entertaining too, because you can make them ahead of time, even a day before, and store them in the fridge until you are ready to put them in the oven. This particular time that I made them, Peter and I had our friends, Zack and Mallory, over for dinner and I made all of it ahead of time EXCEPT for the beaten egg whites (because I didn't want them to deflate in the fridge). All I had to do was warm the chocolate mixture back up, beat the whites and fold them in, and we had fresh warm lava cakes ready on demand!
Recipe (serves 4):
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) Salted Butter
- 6 ounces chocolate (I used semi sweet chips, but you can use any chocolate that you like :)
- 1 teaspoon Instant Coffee granules
- 3 Large Eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Ice Cream