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Chocolate Lava Cake Making/Baking ?'s

StacyD's picture

I made the Ghirardelli Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes this past weekend and had some issues with it. These cakes have a chocolate ball in the middle that you make first. I followed the directions and used my double boiler (metal) to melt the chocolate ( 60% bittersweet) and heavy cream and refrigerated the chocolate in the pan in the fridge for two hours as directed. In the meantime I mixed the cake portion of the dessert. After two hours the chocolate was still liquidy and didn't solidify to make the chocolate balls so  I put the pot in the freezer.


A few hours later the liquid froze and I got most of the chocolate out of the pot to put in the tins and started to make the balls and they melted really quickly. I put what I had in the 4 oz heart shape tins vs. ramekins and baked as instructed. The cakes were a bit dry and the balls pretty much went flat and never really oozed. Not sure what I did wrong? Any thoughts?


 


 

Adele's picture

(post #64195, reply #1 of 26)

Can't help with what you did wrong, if anything, but I can help with chocolate melting when hand rolling truffles.  I have hot hands and chocolate tends to melt quickly when I roll.  I keep a stainless (or whatever) bowl near my prep area filled with icecubes and water.  Everytime I finish a ball, I lay my hands on the outside of the bowl for a little bit.  Cools down my hands without them getting wet.  (Yes, the bowl gets messy, but so what. :))


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

MadMom's picture

(post #64195, reply #2 of 26)

Hard to guess without knowing the exact proportions, but if your chocolate didn't harden in the refrigerator, there was definitely something wrong.  For some reason, I'm thinking that bittersweet is usually a lot higher than 60%, but I don't have any around to check.  Seems that what I used was above 70% - could that have been your problem?




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StacyD's picture

(post #64195, reply #3 of 26)

The recipe for the chocolate balls called for 2 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar and 1/4 cup heavy cream. The cake called for 4 oz cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar, butter, eggs, eggs yolks, vanilla, sugar and cake flour. I couldn't find Ghirardelli baking bars so I bought Perugina 60% Bittersweet Chocolate at Whole Foods after I realized I bought Scharffen Berger 62% Cacao Dark Chocolate - Mocha. It wouldn't be the chocolate brand would it? Thanks for your help as I really want to correct what I did wrong for the next time.
Appreciate the info as to how to make the chocolate balls.

mer's picture

(post #64195, reply #4 of 26)

sounds to me that your chocolate: cream ratio was off.  Too much cream.

MadMom's picture

(post #64195, reply #7 of 26)

That does seem a little bit off to me.  I have melted chocolate (7 or 8 oz) with 6 Tbsp cream, which is just 50% more cream than you used, but almost 4 times the chocolate.  Sounds like there was too much cream for the chocolate, but CookiMonster is the chocolate expert.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

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StacyD's picture

(post #64195, reply #8 of 26)

Hmm.. I'm looking at the Ghirardelli recipe that was in a GH magazine and it says 1/2 bar (2 oz) and 1/4 cup cream - so maybe there was a typo on there end?


I just tried to do a search for the chocolate espresso lava cakes and to no avail. Would anyone mind sharing it with me so I can make them for Valentine's?


Thanks!

Gretchen's picture

(post #64195, reply #9 of 26)

Look on foodtv for Emeril's recipe. He used one similar to yours where the middle was a lump of ganache and melted.

Gretchen

Gretchen
bahati's picture

Chocolate espresso lava cake (post #64195, reply #26 of 26)

Check p 68 of Fine Cooking Special Issue #68, Winter 2005, for the Dark Chocolate Souffle Cakes with Espresso-Chocolate Sauce

TracyK's picture

(post #64195, reply #5 of 26)

Fine Cooking had a great article last year (I think it was last year) about molten cakes... I made the chocolate-espresso version and it was divine. No issues at all.


If you're sure your measurements were exact, perhaps you should just try a different recipe?


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

RheaS's picture

(post #64195, reply #6 of 26)

I made the chocolate-espresso one recently and I agree. It was very easy and fast to put together. The most time-consuming part was chopping chocolate. I even assembled ahead of time and baked them at my friend's house as we were eating dinner.

Madeleine's picture

(post #64195, reply #10 of 26)

Tracy...do you know which issue of FC had that recipe?  I just made the same Ghirardelli recipe for the lava cakes.  I did not have a problem making the balls, mine worked just fine, but the centers were not really liquid like.  They were more like an undercooked brownie would be.  They were tasty, but did not turn out as I had hoped.  I want to try again and maybe should try a different recipe.  I was surprised I didn't find one in the specila chololate FC issue.


 


Madeleine
Madeleine
Jean's picture

(post #64195, reply #11 of 26)

I have molten chocolate cake recipes by Nigella Lawson, Alice Medrich, Thomas Keller, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Plus one posted by Li another by ??.  I'll email them all to you if you like.



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MadMom's picture

(post #64195, reply #12 of 26)

When you do, would you send me a copy, too?  My diabetic DH is begging for chocolate cake, and since he will only be allowed one slice, I thought it should be good.  What's your best, most moist chocolate cake recipe?


 




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #64195, reply #14 of 26)

An old fashioned chocolate mayonnaise cake made with Splenda for baking is superb. I've made it and served it to unsuspecting guest - okay, my brother - and he didn't know it was Splendafied.

All you do is add 1/4 powdered milk and 1/4 tsp baking powder for every cup of Splenda, and you get normal cake volume with little extra carbs (there are some in the milk, but not much).

And the mayo keeps the cake moist, which is a problem with Splendafied cakes. I made a "everyday" cake the other day with Splenda, and it dried out by the next day. Nothing a little raspberry jam couldn't fix, but still, not fancy occasion worthy. Fine for a chocolate fix, though.

 


Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

debpasc's picture

(post #64195, reply #15 of 26)

I made the Ghiradelli Truffles recipe from a magazine a couple of years ago and wasn't that thrilled with them.  Maybe their test-kitchen is asleep at the wheel.

chiquiNO's picture

(post #64195, reply #16 of 26)

Me three, please??<<< I have to teach this in class. Gracias!!

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans

 

Madeleine's picture

(post #64195, reply #13 of 26)

That would be fabulous Jean!  Do you recommend one over another?  Thanks!

Madeleine

Madeleine
Jean's picture

(post #64195, reply #17 of 26)

I emailed you through the forum but didn't get a reply.  I need your email address to send them to you.



They told me I was gullible and I believed them.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
StacyD's picture

(post #64195, reply #18 of 26)

Good to know that it may not have been my baking that was off!


I would like to get a copy of the recipes as well so I can make correctly them for Valentine's day:-)


Thanks!

MadMom's picture

(post #64195, reply #19 of 26)

You know, Jean, since you have them in e-format, you might as well post them, LOL.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Jean's picture

(post #64195, reply #20 of 26)

Okay, will do.


                     
* Exported from MasterCook *


Molten Chocolate Baby Cakes from Nigella Lawson - How to be a Domestic Goddess


1/4   cup (scant)  soft unsalted butter -- plus more for greasing
12  ounces  best bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup  sugar
4    large  eggs -- beaten with a pinch of salt
1  t  vanilla extract
1/3  cup  all purpose flour


6 individual 6-ounce custard cups, buttered / baking parchment.


Preheat the oven to 400F, putting in a baking sheet at the same time. Lay 3 of the custard cups on a sheet of doubled baking parchment. Draw round them, remove, and then cut out the discs as marked. Press them all into the base of the cups.


Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly. Cream together the butter and sugar, and gradually beat in the eggs and salt, then the vanilla. now add the flour, and when all is smoothly combined scrape inthe cooled chocolate, blending it to a smooth batter.


Divide the batter between the 6 custard cups, quickly whip the baking sheet out of the oven, arrange the little cups on it and replace in the oven.  Cook for 10-12 minutes (extra 2 minutes will be needed if the puddings are refrigerator=cold when you start) and as soon as you take them out of the oven, tip out these luscious babycakes onto small plates or shallow bowls.


Serve these with whipped cream, the same unwhipped in a pitcher, creme fraiche, custard, or ice cream. Serves 6.


edited to add: she says she got the recipe from James McNair, "America's gastro-compendium made flesh"


 


NOTES : it says they can be made in advance, placed in the refrigerator and baked for 12-14 minutes at 400F
No secrets with that recipe. That is one of the simplest, I have seen. I showed it to my cooking impaired Mom and now she uses it for her "signature dessert" served with a coulis of whatever colorful fruit is in season or available. She has used passion, kiwi, mango as well as raspberry.


You can even make it more in advance than she says.




They told me I was gullible and I believed them.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Jean's picture

(post #64195, reply #21 of 26)

                     
* Exported from MasterCook *


Molten Chocolate Cakes --Alice Medrich


Serving Size  : 6     


Softened butter and sugar -- for the ramekins
8 ounces  semisweet or bittersweet chocolate -- finely chopped
8 tablespoons  unsalted butter -- (1 stick) cut into bits
2 tablespoons  milk
3 tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa powder -- natural or Dutch
                        processed
2  large  eggs -- separated, at room  temperature
1 large  egg white -- at room temperature
1/8  teaspoon  cream of tartar
3  tablespoons  sugar
Whipped Creme Topping (TheBaker's Dozen Cookbook)               


1. Lightly butter the insides of six 6-ounce custard cups, sprinkle with sugar to coat, and tap out the excess.


2. In a medium stainless steel bowl placed in a skillet of hot, not simmering, water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring often, until smooth. Remove from the heat. Measure 6 tablespoons into a small shallow bowl (a cereal bowl is perfect). Add the milk and stir well. Place in the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe. Stir the cocoa and egg yolks into the remaining chocolate- butter mixture.


3. In a grease-free medium bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar until the peaks are stiff and glossy but not dry. Fold about one-quarter of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the batter into the cups, filling them half full. Set the remaining batter aside.


4. Remove the chocolate-butter mixture from the freezer; it should be firm. Using a dessert spoon, scrape up the mixture and roll into 6 truffle-like balls (they do not have to be perfectly round). Embed a truffle into the center of each custard cup, top with equal amounts of the remaining batter, and level the tops. Place the cups on a baking sheet. Cover the cups with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (The cakes can be prepared to this point up to 3 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.)


5. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400°F.


6. Bake until the cakes are puffed and cracked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out gooey, indicating that the truffle is melted, about 12 minutes. Let the cakes cool for 3 minutes.


7. Run a thin knife around the inside of each cup to release the cake. Protecting your hands with a towel, invert a cup in the center of a dessert plate to unmold the cake. Repeat with the remaining cakes. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream.


Baker's Notes:


For more of a "restaurant-style" presentation, sift confectioners' sugar over the entire plate and garnish with drizzles of raspberry or caramel sauce.


Tender and cakelike on the outside, these homely little cakes deliver a gush of bittersweet chocolate sauce from within, thanks to a truffle embedded in the center. As an added bonus, they can be prepared well ahead of baking. Choose your favorite high-quality chocolate and prepare yourself for a major indulgence.




They told me I was gullible and I believed them.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Jean's picture

(post #64195, reply #22 of 26)

                     
* Exported from MasterCook *


Thomas Kellers molten chocolate cake


4  ounces  best-quality imported semisweet chocolate -- finely chopped
1 1/2 ounces  unsweetened chocolate -- finely chopped
10 tablespoons  unsalted butter -- (1 stick plus 2         tablespoons) softened
1/2 cup  sugar
3   large  eggs
1/2    cup  plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4  teaspoon  baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa powder
Vanilla ice cream or vanilla-flavored whipped cream


1. Lightly butter six 1-cup ramekins or custard cups; set aside. Place the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a
bowl set over a saucepan of hot water over low heat (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts;
remove from the heat.
2. When the chocolate is smooth, stir in the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and cocoa. Beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and has a thick, mousse-like consistency, about 5 minutes.
3. Fill the ramekins 1/2 full, cover each with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 3 hours. (The ramekins can be filled and frozen up to 3 days in advance.)
4.  Just before serving time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with a rack in the center. Bake the cold desserts until the outer edges of the tops are set, but the centers are still moist and shiny, usually 10 to 11 minutes. Invert each portion onto a serving plate and serve warm, with a small scoop of the vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of vanilla-flavored whipped cream. Alternately, serve directly from the ramekins.


 


                                   




They told me I was gullible and I believed them.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Jean's picture

(post #64195, reply #23 of 26)

Warm, Soft Chocolate Cake by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman from Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef

Serving Size  : 4     

1/2    cup  unsalted butter -- plus more to butter the molds
4   ounces  bittersweet chocolate -- preferably Valrhona
2   eggs
2   egg yolks
1/4   cup  sugar
2   teaspoons  flour -- plus more for  dusting

 

1. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. While that's heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick.

 

2. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter; it should be quite warm. Pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.

 

3. Butter and lightly flour four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. Tap out the excess flour, then butter and flour them again. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.)

 

4. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Bake the molds on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set.

 

5. Invert each mold onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the mold; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately.

 

 This ambrosial minicake is absolute chocolate in two forms: a warm, molten center surrounded by a tender, protective shell. Despite its intensity, however, it has nothing of the heaviness of Mississippi Mud Pie or the ubiquitous flourless chocolate cake. Perhaps that's why it's one of the most copied desserts in American restaurants.

 

Trivia: These cakes were supposedly created when Vongerichten was creating a new dessert recipe and pulled them out of the oven precipitately. When he cut into it one, instead of the dense crumb he expected, a center of molten chocolate oozed out, and a classic was born. — Linda Avery
 



They told me I was gullible and I believed them.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
StacyD's picture

(post #64195, reply #24 of 26)

Thanks so much Jean for sharing these. Of the four that you posted do you have a favorite?  Can't wait to make them in a few weeks.

Jean's picture

(post #64195, reply #25 of 26)

I made one but didn't make a note of which one. I know, shouldn't trust short term memory at my age. LOL. I have a hunch they'll all be good. Be sure to report back, please.



They told me I was gullible and I believed them.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need