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Chocolate Chip Molten Lava Cakes

This restaurant classic just got a makeover that the whole family will love!

 

Muffin tins are ideal for making individual lava cakes.

If you like molten lava cake and chocolate chip cookies, well, this recipe is a match made in heaven! A simple, chilled chocolate truffle is tucked in brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough and baked to perfection. The truffle oozes chocolate lava onto the plate with just one break of the cookie cake. The toasted butter means that the dough can come together with a wooden spoon or stiff plastic spatula, not a standing or hand mixer. It also gives a sophisticated depth of flavor worthy of this show-stopping individual cake. Make the chocolate ganache - just two ingredients! - at least one day before you want to make the lava cakes. Even the cookie dough can be made ahead. If you have 20 minutes, you have time to bake a lava cake!


Equipment: small saucepan; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; whisk; small and large mixing bowls; wooden spoon; rubber spatula; muffin tins; small cookie scoop


Ganache Ingredients:

¾ cup heavy cream

8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chips


Chocolate Chip Cake Ingredients: 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

¾ cup light brown sugar

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1, 10-ounce bag chocolate chips


1. First, make the ganache a day in advance. Bring the cream to a strong simmer over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit in the hot cream for 30-60 seconds then whisk until the chocolate is melted and blended with the cream. Let the mixture sit again for 5-10 minutes, and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a container and cool until room temperature. Seal with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator overnight.


2. The next day, using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure, form 10 small balls of the chilled ganache to make truffles. Return the chocolate balls to the refrigerator while you prepare the brown butter cookie dough.


3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the muffin tins. Set aside.


4. In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium,-high heat until the milk solids in the butter toast, becoming a dark brown color. Pour the brown butter into a large mixing bowl, scraping the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and set aside to cool slightly.


5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.


6. Pour the sugars into the brown butter and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in one egg at a time and mix well to incorporate. Add in the vanilla and stir.


7. Pour the flour mixture into the brown butter mixture and stir well to combine. Add in the chocolate chips and mix.


8. Press 2-3 tablespoons of cookie dough into the bottom of 10 muffin tins. Gently press a truffle into the dough of each muffin well. Top the truffle with a mound of 2-3 more tablespoons of cookie dough, hiding the truffle beneath a mound.


ILOC tip: do not press and flatten the tops of the lava cakes because this will happen naturally as they bake. If you press and flatten beforehand, the lava cakes will have sunken centers.

9. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the cookie cakes look golden brown and not at all raw.

10. Let the lava cakes cool for at least 10 minutes in the tins. They should be easy to lift gently with your fingers, but you may turn the muffin tin over on a rack to release them, and then immediately turn the cakes right side-up to cool before service.


11. Serve these as-is, with some finishing salt, or a big scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream!


Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day, or refrigerated for up to one week. Warm in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or covered in foil in the oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes.


Makes 10 muffins.



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