Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
***FROZEN CHOCOLATE CENTERS***
6 ounces semisweet chocolate -- finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Softened butter -- for buttering the ramekins
9 ounces semisweet chocolate -- coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter -- (1 stick) slightly softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar -- used in two separate measurements
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white -- separated (at room temperature)
Put the chocolate in a 1-quart measuring cup with a pouring spout. In a small
saucepan, set over medium heat, heat the cream and corn syrup, stirring
constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour the hot
cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds, to melt the
chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the Grand Marnier, vanilla and
Cover an ice cube tray with a piece of plastic wrap. With your fingers, press
down on the plastic wrap to line six individual ice cube cavities with plastic.
Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the six lined ice cube cavities, filling
each one to the brim. Reserve the remaining chocolate mixture in a heat proof
bowl to be used later as a sauce. Cover and refrigerate. Cover the filled ice
cube tray with plastic wrap. Freeze the ice cube tray with the chocolate mixture
for 3 to 4 hours, until frozen solid. Keep the frozen chocolate in the freezer
until ready to assemble the dessert.
Chocolate cake: Make the chocolate cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
Generously butter the bottom and sides of six 6-ounce ramekins. Put the ramekins
on a baking sheet. Melt the chocolate with the water and coffee. Gently whisk
until smooth. Let the chocolate mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until tepid.
In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour and salt until
thoroughly blended. Sift onto a piece of waxed paper.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the
butter for 30 seconds until creamy. While continuing to beat, gradually add 1/2
cup of the sugar. Beat in the vanilla. One at a time, add the egg yolks, beating
well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until
smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
In a large grease-free bowl using a hand-held electric mixer and clean beaters,
beat the egg whites at low speed until frothy. Gradually increase the speed to
high and beat the whites until soft peaks start to form. One teaspoon at a time,
add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating the whites until
stiff, shiny peaks form.
Fold one-third of the whites along with one-third of the flour mixture into the
batter. One-third at a time, gently fold in the remaining egg whites and the
Spoon half of the batter, filling each ramekin a little more than half full.
Unwrap the frozen chocolate cubes. Nestle a frozen chocolate cube in the center
of each batter-filled ramekin. Spoon the remaining batter over the tops of the
frozen chocolate cubes, covering them completely.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the batter has risen about 1/2-inch above the
ramekin rims and the tops are slightly cracked.