Every day I crave chocolate. I need a little something sweet to round off my meal and feel satisfied. Without it, I’m itchy for just a taste and it’s like wearing a wool sweater if I don’t satisfy that craving. Despite obvious lack of restraint, I do treat myself in moderation so when I do get my treat I don’t devour the entire thing in two seconds. And, I usually don’t want anything fancy or trendy. Just a plain slice of chocolate cake will do just fine. That’s why this recipe for the good old standby molten chocolate cake is perfect for me. Sometimes, it’s best to keep it easy and predictable. No frills. Of course, you can dress it up for company with some fresh blackberry thyme sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. Now, that’s indulgent.
Blackberry Thyme Sauce:
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 T fresh thyme
In a small saucepan, add the sugar and add just enough water to make a sandy consistency. If there are sugar crystals on the sides of the saucepan, make sure to wash them down with additional water. This is important because the crystals will make the entire batch crystallize once sugar starts to boil. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium.
Cook until sugar and water until it reaches a light caramel color. Turn heat down to low, and add the blackberries and thyme. This will make the sugar seize up, but that’s ok. Slowly heat everything on low heat, mash the berries, and gently stir until mixture becomes smooth. Remove from heat and let steep for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and chill in the refrigerator.
Molten Chocolate Cake:
from Food & Wine Magazine
yield: 4 individual servings
4 oz unsalted butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2T all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter and lightly flour four 6-oz ramekins. Tap out excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
In a bain marie, melt chocolate and butter. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt at high speed until thick and pale.
Whisk the chocolate and butter until smooth. Quickly fold in the egg mixture along with the flour. Ladle batter into ramekins and bake for 12 minutes or until the sides are firm but centers are soft and jiggly. Let cakes cool in ramekins for 1 minute, then invert and unmold onto a plate.
Garnish with blackberry thyme sauce and softly whipped cream.