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Warm Chocolate Cake with Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

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Few desserts have blown the panties off of my dinner guests. But, this chocolate cake left them practically licking the ramekins and going back for seconds on the salted caramel sauce. I knew it was good, but wow.

I’m a total sucker the molten chocolate cake. I’ve had my share of all types- in a ramekin, in a tart shell, unmolded on a platter at restaurants, at home, the bakery… There were a few standout versions but this one here is my favorite to make at home. It’s pretty much fail safe and so easy. Perfect for a dinner party. I especially love that the batter needs to rest overnight because that means I can check off one thing from my to-do list and focus on all the rest of the dinner prep.

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Warm Chocolate Cake:

From My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Yield: 8, 4-oz ramekins or disposable aluminum molds

8 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

6 tablespoons salted butter

5 large eggs, room temperature

¾ cup powdered sugar

2/3 cup all purpose flour

Cocoa powder, enough for dusting the ramekins

Butter each ramekin and coat with cocoa powder.

In a bain marie, melt the butter and chocolate and stir gently until it is smooth

In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the whip attachment, beat the eggs and powdered sugar on high speed (approx. 5 min) until the mixture thickens and turns light yellow. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour, beat just until it is incorporated.

Fold ¼ of the whipped eggs into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold half of the lightened chocol.ate mixture back into the eggs, mix thoroughly. Lastly, fold in the rest of the chocolate mixture and mix until there are no yellow streaks.

Divide the batter among the prepared molds and refrigerate for 24 hours (can be used after 3 hours).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the cakes on a baking sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes. The centers should feel soft and not fully set.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let sit 5 minutes to settle.

*If using disposable cake molds, unmold onto a platter and serve immediately with salted caramel sauce and whipped cream (or ice cream).

**I used ramekins and opted not to unmold them.

Salted Butter Caramel Sauce:

From My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Yield: 1 ½ cups

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup water

6 tablespoons salted butter, cubed at room temperature*

½ cup heavy cream

Sea salt

Spread the sugar in a large skillet or wide saucepan and pour the water over it. Heat the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan very gently, just enough to moisten the sugar with the water.

Once the sugar is moistened and starting to cook, swirl the pan only if there are dry spots of sugar that aren’t melting. Continue to cook the sugar until it begins to darken. Watching carefully, gently swirl the pan, only if necessary, so it cooks evenly. (If the sugar begins to crystallize, continue cooking, stirring only if you see very dark burnt spots appearing, and the crystals should eventually smooth out).

When the caramel is a deep amber color and begins to smoke, remove the pan from the heat and drop in the cubes of butter. Stir with a whisk until butter is completely melted, the gradually whisk in the cream and stir until smooth. If the sauce seizes up, gently warm it over low heat and it will begin to smooth out.

Once the sauce is cool enough to taste, you may want to add additional salt and adjust to your taste. Sauce keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

*I didn’t have salted butter so I added ¼ teaspoon sea salt to the caramel.

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