Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rain and Chocolate Lava Cakes

The rain here in the Northeast is reaching epic proportions.

The ground is so saturated from previous rainstorms that it just can't take anymore.

This is a view of a corner of my backyard, taken from an upstairs window.

Highways are impassable. Small streams have burst their banks. And locally, neighbors are having to call the fire department to pump out their flooded basements. (crossing our fingers, our basement is currently dry).

A full moon last night spelled disaster for our coastal neighbors bringing high tide to their very doors.

This is the third such storm in so many weeks. Now what was that about Climate Change being a bunch of hooey?

Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes (easily doubled, this recipe makes four cakes)

1 stick (8 ounces) unsalted butter plus more for ramekins
2 teaspoons sugar, plus more for ramekins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Generous pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, rough chopped
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter four 6 ounce oven proof ramekins. Dust with 1/4 teaspoon sugar.

In a heavy saucepan combine butter, sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, cayenne and nutmeg. Heat over low until butter and chocolate is melted and all is well combined. Stir often and slowly.

While the chocolate mixture is cooling slightly, whisk together the flour, confectioners' sugar, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract until creamy.

Slowly add some of the chocolate mixture to the egg/flour mixture - whisk to temper the eggs, then add the rest.

Pour into prepared ramekins.

You can stop here and refrigerate until you are ready to bake - up to 6 hours!

OR - proceed to baking. Place the ramekins on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Cakes will be puffed and slightly cracked and the edges will be dark.

Let rest for 5 minutes, run a small sharp knife around the edge of the ramekin, then invert onto individual plates or shallow bowls. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with freshly whipped cream if desired.

While enjoying, pray for sun in the Northeast.

A Cook's Notes: a teaspoon of orange liquor added to the batter is delicious. Or, experiment with mint, almond or coconut extracts. Instead of cayenne I have used Cocoa Chili Blend Spice by McCormick (also delicious in hot chocolate)

If you can't eat all the cakes in one sitting, microwave a cake (in the ramekin) for 30 seconds and invert as above. They will keep (baked) in the refrigerator for several days.


  1. That is so much rain... Does is happen every year like this or is this one of the first times? I can't believe that! It looks like your white fence is going to give way and sink into the mud!

    Praying for sunshine. :)

  2. My house was built in an old apple orchard- all sand, pretty high up for here... Never see a puddle in the yard..

  3. Phoebe - no, this has only happened 3 - 4 times in the last 10 years. Two of these episodes in the last 3 weeks.

    Buffalo - Sand makes for good drainage! Our house is actually one of the lucky ones, we have a french drain system and sump. (knocking on wood)

  4. Wow, I feel a little petty complaining about my wet ground! You win!

    Love of my life will thank you for this recipe!

  5. Okay, I need one of those lava cakes. My mouth is watering.

    I hope you guys get sun!

  6. Well we have another storm coming in tomorrow here on the west coast..but nothing like you are having there..We did go thru horrible storms a while back..and its so sad staying home..and looking out the windows..I must have cleaned and sorted all my closets and drawers during our storms...wonderful cake..
    will add to my list..:-)

  7. and here I am the one living in Seattle with all the silly tales of rain. Looks like you have much more! Hope you don't have to resort to fins to get your mail.

    I come here lots just don't always leave comments, or maybe that is rarely leave comments. I am fighting my inner demons (depression) and blogging seems to have been pushed to the back burner. One day I hope to return!

    In the mean time I just keep drooling and reading your blog!

  8. I really wanted to comment to say please send some rain over here... but then I saw the chocolate and now I'm confused as to which one I want most. Do you think you could send both? Pretty please.

  9. Kathy - tell your LOML that he is welcome!

    Whispering - it is not hard to make, try it.

    Marlene - it seems both coasts have had our share of storms this season.

    Tamis - So wonderful to hear from you. I miss you!! Take care, feel brighter... summer is almost here!

    Eternally - I would gladly send both rain and chocolate!!


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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