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Friday, February 8, 2013

Kahlua Lava Cakes



Valentine's Day is approaching and these mini lava cakes are simple and decadent...Sure to melt your honey's heart and set the right mood for the night!  *Wink*

I've wanted to make lava cakes for a while, something simple and small.  I think decadent and super rich chocolate has its place.  I wanted to create something small, luscious and just the right amount of chocolate to compliment the subtle Kahlua flavor.  Rockin' it next to some vanilla bean ice cream was also a must.  

And, I'll be honest, I'm not a huge chocolate fan...Not even a great dark chocolate fan.  Except with coconut, of course.  I know...what happened to me at birth?  Aren't all girls supposed to be in love with chocolate?  

I also wanted to use heart shaped sprinkles and VDay seems to be the only holiday that I can use heart sprinkles.  I got my sprinkles at Target...And, in true Target fashion these sprinkles were a deal...Let me show you why...



See?! Why on earth would they combine blue teal hearts with red, pink and white hearts I ask you?  Good thing I had some time on my hands (home sick with bronchitis), plus I'm truly anal retentive when it comes to sprinkles.  Yeah, you know me so well by now...  :)

I can guarantee that these little lovelies are super easy, super full-proof and super delish.  I'm not a chocolate fan, right?  Well, these have just the right amount of "chocolaty-ness" for both the chocolate and the less-than-over-the-top chocolate lovers in your life.  

A nice glass of champagne should seal this deal.  *Wink*



I'm sharing this in the coffee liqueur challenge over at Baking With Spirit!  


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Step-by-Step


Melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl over simmering water.  Stir in the vanilla and Kahlua.  Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, sift together the sugar, flour and salt.  

Sift these again into the chocolate mixture.  With the whisk attachment, mix well. 

Add the eggs, one at a time.  

Beating in each egg before adding the next egg.  

Once all the eggs are added, beat on medium high for about 4 minutes until the mixture is creamy and lighter in color.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, coat each muffin cup (and top lip) with the melted butter using a brush.  Let the butter slightly harden.  Place a small amount of cocoa or superfine sugar in each muffin cup and shake to coat.  Shake off excess.  Set aside.

Remove batter from the refrigerator and using a scoop (I used a #10 scoop, which is 3.2 oz) portion out evenly into the prepared muffin cups.

Fill in any empty muffin cups with water (half way up).  This allows for even baking.

Bake for 10 minutes (add one more minute if needed).  The outsides should be puffy and cake-like and the centers should still be "liquidy."  Remove to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Gently remove from the pan, keeping upright.  Let cool for 5 more minutes until ready to spoon on the ganache.  You will be glad you spent the time preparing your pan...Trust me.  :)

Make the Chocolate Kahlua Ganache by combining the chocolate, vanilla and Kahlua in a medium bowl.  Heat the cream in the microwave until just bubbly (but do not bring to a rolling boil or you will burn the milk and chocolate).  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate mixture.  Let sit a few minutes to allow chocolate to melt.

Stir together for 2 minutes until completely smooth and glossy.  Let sit a few minutes to thicken.  

Spoon over cakes that have been turned upside down.  I placed mine on parchment paper.  Let the ganache run down sides.   Sprinkles of course.  See, blue teal hearts just wouldn't have worked here...

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.  And, yes they will fall in love with you...



Kahlua Lava Cakes
Inspired by Alton Brown’s Chocolate Lava Muffins
Makes 11-12 mini lava cakes

Ingredients
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chunks
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
2 tbsp Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp fine salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
About 2-3 tbsp melted butter and cocoa or superfine sugar for dusting the muffin pan

Chocolate-Kahlua Ganache
2 oz semisweet chocolate, chunks
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chunks
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
1 tbsp Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
6 oz heavy cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 F.
1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the semisweet chocolate and butter.  Place over a saucepan of simmering water.  Melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl.  Stir in the vanilla and Kahlua.  Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
2. In a small bowl, sift together the sugar, flour and salt.  Sift these again into the chocolate mixture.  With the whisk attachment, mix well. 
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, fully beating in each egg before adding the next egg.  Once all the eggs are added, beat on medium high for about 4 minutes until the mixture is creamy and lighter in color.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, coat each muffin cup with the melted butter using a brush.  Let the butter slightly harden.  Place a small amount of cocoa or superfine sugar in each muffin cup and shake to coat.  Shake off excess.  Set aside.
5. Remove batter from the refrigerator and using a scoop (I used a #10 scoop, which is 3.2 oz) portion out evenly into the prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake for 10 minutes (add one more minute if needed).  The outsides should be puffy and cake-like and the centers should still be liquidy.  Remove to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
7. Gently remove from the pan, keeping upright.  Let cool for 5 more minutes until ready to spoon on the ganache.

To make the Chocolate Kahlua Ganache (make while the cakes are in the oven)
1. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate, vanilla and Kahlua.
2. Measure the cream into a microwave-safe measuring cup.  Heat on high for 30-45 seconds or until just bubbly (but do not bring to a rolling boil or you will burn the milk and chocolate). 
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate mixture.  Let sit a few minutes to allow chocolate to melt.
4. Stir together for 2 minutes until completely smooth and glossy.  Let sit a few minutes to thicken.  Spoon over cakes that have been turned upside down.  Let ganache run down sides. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Note: These lava cakes can be refrigerated and reheated just before serving.  Heat in a microwave for 30 seconds on half-power until warm and just soft to the touch.


Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!  Love, Ellen



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10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Dorothy! For the cover shot, I used the photo techniques that you and Ashton shared on BlogCon. I have more to learn, but thank you both for adding that tutorial. :)

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  2. My sister just made lava cakes this week too! I know how yummy they are and these with a grown-up take on them would be a spectacular dessert for Valentine's Day! My plate would look like the one you show...well, maybe I would have "licked" it clean!! Great recipe, luv you, XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan! Yes, I would have licked that plate too, but it wouldn't have been a great "after" shot. ;0 I've been enjoying these all week for lunch. The Haagen Das ran out yesterday...I'll have to switch to whipped cream I guess. Shucks. :)

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  3. Replies
    1. They really were little chocolate clouds...So, yes! Heavenly. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Oh my goodness, these look delicious! I'm going to have to make some lava cakes!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Let me know if you make them and how they turn out. LOVE your website and your book reviews! My new "go-to" place for what to read next. :)

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  5. I made these for dinner guests, and they LOVED them. It was pretty easy too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! I'm SO glad they turned out and that your guests loved them!! :) I always love it when someone tried a recipe and enjoys it as much as we do. Thanks for stopping by and letting us know. :)

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