The majority of us love chocolate and for reasons that go far beyond its delicious taste. Chocolate is a psychoactive food containing anandamide (a chemical found in the brain which promotes the sense of well-being); caffeine (we all know what that does); and tryptophan (an essential amino acid which reduces anxiety). The consumption of chocolate has also been shown to release endorphins, natural opiates which exist within the brain.
Chocolate can be good for your health, as well! It's a great antioxidant. Chocolate contains the same amount of phenols (chemicals which prevent oxidation within arteries) as red wine. It has also been found to thin the blood, which can help to prevent clots.
Time for a Little Dessert
The dessert we're making is none other than Molten Chocolate Cake. If you've ever ordered this dish in a restaurant, you know it's about as "over-the-top" as a dessert can be.
Imagine the lightest and moistest chocolate cake you've ever eaten. Now imagine it served warm with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. As you take your first bite, you discover an added bonus, a molten river of dark chocolate cascading from the center.
Sounds amazing, right? It is! But there are a few things I would like you to know.
First, this is a rich and decadent dessert. My recipe makes 6 "individual" servings, but those with smaller appetites could easily share one.
Second, this is NOT a low-cal, low-fat, or low-carb dessert. This is pure confectionary firepower, the likes of which you rarely experience. Enjoy!
Molten Chocolate Cake (serves 6)
Powder sugar for dusting
4 large egg yolks
4 large whole eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 lb. high-quality, bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cake flour (plus more for dusting)
2 sticks unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using vegetable spray, grease (6) 6-ounce ramekins and dust with cake flour. In the top of a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, whole eggs, and egg yolks. Whisk in the cake flour. Evenly distribute the batter among the 6 ramekins, and bake for 10 minutes or until the sides of the cakes are set but the center still jiggles. Let the cakes cool for 2-3 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and invert onto plates. Garnish with powder sugar and serve with either vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.