Gooey Chocolate Cakes

My blog posts are starting to get backed up, but Nolan is cooperating right now, so here we go!

Jeremy and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on June 19th. We couldn’t really get out anywhere with the little one to take care of, but we made up for it with a slow-cooked dinner using my shiny red anniversary present: a 5-quart oval Le Creuset that I’ve had my eye on for several years. I love it—the perfect shape for so many of the cuts of meat I braise, and not quite as heavy as Big Red. I immediately christened it with a Yankee pot roast, accompanied with a side of potato-celeriac mashers.

For dessert, Jeremy’s only request was something to go with vanilla ice cream. Because he had given me a cute little heart -shaped ramekin in addition to the dutch oven (not to mention a copy of the The Zuni Cafe Cookbook… I love you, honey!), I immediately thought of making molten chocolate cakes. Believe it or not, I missed out on that whole fad—not only have I never baked them, to my knowledge I’ve never even had one in a restaurant. I’m still not quite sure how I managed that, because they’re right up my alley. Anyway, I chose a simple version from Baking: From My Home to Yours, dividing the batter between the heart ramekin and 4 6-oz. round ones. You can find the recipe online here.

These little cakes performed their given function beautifully—they were great with vanilla ice cream. 🙂 The portions were just the right size, and their innards were indeed nicely gooey, even though they don’t bother with ganache filling like many similar recipes. Make sure you use a chocolate you would be happy eating straight, because that’s all you taste: I used Scharffenberger 70% dark.

The best part about this dessert, though, was how mommy-friendly it is. I mixed up the batter in a few minutes early in the afternoon when I had a free moment, and just popped the covered ramekins in the fridge for later. When we were ready for dessert, all I had to do was preheat the oven and pop two ramekins in… and the same went for the next night too!

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