Thursday, December 13, 2007

Molten Chocolate Cake

Ten years ago I had my first ever molten chocolate cake. The now defunct restaurant whose name I can no longer remember was at the base of a new condo high rise in Belltown.

The cakes were served with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream and were absolutely amazing. It was so good I did the unprecedented and never before repeated act—and ordered another one! Since then, I’ve ordered molten chocolate cake from numerous desert menus but none have compared that that very first (and second) taste of chocolate nirvana.

I’ve tried many different recipes at home and have come close by using to duplicating the formula with a Mexican chocolate soufflĂ© cake recipe from Bon Appetit, chilling the individual ramekins and then cooking them just until the center is about to lose its jiggle. I’ve never quite reached that perfect taste and texture combination and the whipping and folding and chilling all take quite a bit of time and expertise.

I’ve tried freezing ganache in cubes and then inserting them into cake batter…This should work even though it feels a bit like cheating but so far I haven’t anything that compares to the silky crumb and flavor that I’m seeking.

A close winner is the Williams Sonoma molten chocolate cake mix. Timing is everything with this one…thirty seconds too soon and it’s just plain underdone and a minute too long and it’s just a chocolate cake. If you can get it right, this cake is exquisite but the mix is expensive and according to their catalog, no longer available.

I’ll continue my quest for a reliable and tasty and economic molten chocolate cake. The Joy of baking recipe looks promising…