The seared duck dinner we made for Valentine’s Day was a bit more involved than usual for a weeknight for us (especially after a full day at work and then going to the gym), so I wanted to make a pretty simple dessert. The good news is that there are a ton of recipes out there for indulgent, decadent chocolate cakes that are really easy to make.
I already had plans to make something along the lines of individual chocolate desserts of some kind and then when we were on the chocolate tour at the Taza chocolate factory, I snagged a card with a recipe for molten spiced chocolate cakes. It was perfect timing.
Now, technically, these were supposed to be molten chocolate cakes. You know, the cakes that you stick your fork in and a river of gooey chocolate oozes out. I’ve made them before and have never had a problem. Despite keeping a careful eye on these cakes and taking them out a little early, there was no molten center.
They were still absolutely delicious. I love the subtle spice that punctuates the rich, fruity, sweetness of the chocolate. But, as good as it was, I was disappointed that I had failed to get the gooey puddle of chocolate inside. I still had all the ingredients I needed, and it really is so easy to make, so I tried again a couple nights later. I kept a really careful eye on them and took them out the second the tops had risen and were solid enough to come out. I was convinced that this time it would come out perfectly. But no. They were super moist and fudgy, but certainly not molten.
At this point I decided to just give up and admit defeat and accept these cakes for what they are: moist spiced chocolate cakes. Not nearly as exciting, but definitely as tasty. I’m not really sure why they didn’t work out. I’m guessing it’s either that the recipe just doesn’t quite work, or maybe I messed something up along the way (both times?). I’m not sure, but I promise you, these are really good even without a molten center.
Moist Individual Spiced Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from Taza Chocolate
2 oz Bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Cabernet Sauvignon (or other red wine)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
confectioners sugar, for serving
Preheat your oven to 425F. Butter 2 (6 ounce) ramekins and place them on a baking sheet.
Heat the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler (place the chocolate in a non reactive bowl or pot over a pot with an inch or so of boiling water) until melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir in wine, vanilla, and sugar until blended. Whisk in the egg and the yolk. Add the flour, cinnamon, and ginger and whisk until smooth. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared dishes.
Bake the cakes for 12-15 minutes or until the sides are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes stand for one minute and loosen the edges with a knife. Invert them onto serving plates and sprinkle with confectioners sugar if desired.