When your husband's birthday is on a weekday, it's still nice to put together a dessert. Not an elaborate dessert, because chances are you're exhausted, but a delicious dessert. For this, I happened to pick up my Everyday Food: Great Food Fast cookbook, where I found a recipe for Molten Chocolate Cakes. Cakes that take only 15 minutes of prep time.
The cakes took about that long to put together, and then baked while we ate dinner. By the time they were out of the oven and had stood for 10 minutes, we were just about ready for dessert. They unmolded easily, and looked great. I forgot to dust them with powdered sugar, but luckily we had some whipped cream in the fridge.
Decadent, molten chocolate, with a surprising slight crunch from the sugar lining the muffin cups. Delicious. Make sure you have whipped cream, and a glass of milk, you'll need it!
Also, you can prepare the batter through step two up to two hours ahead, then cover and refrigerate. Before baking, uncover and bring the batter to room temperature.
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Serves 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 35 minutes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted*
confectioner's sugar, for dusting
whipped cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter 4 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar and tap out excess. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Beat in the chocolate (do not overmix). Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. (there is a lot of batter, and it's thick and fluffy. you'll have to pile it in the muffin cups, only 4 of them, even though you'll be tempted to use 5...)
3. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet; bake just until the tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is slightly shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; let stand for 10 minutes.
4. To serve, turn out the cakes, and place on serving plates, top sides up. Dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve with whipped cream, if desired.
*Melting Chocolate: Place finely chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water; stir until just melted.
OR--Break up the chocolate into small pieces, place in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at half-power (50%) for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted and smooth.