They are a lot like lava cake, which my daughter buys in a mix for her 'bring your own lobster' parties (because as a student she worked in a Boston fish house where they served little lava cakes--where and learned to kill, cook and dismember one with skill and grace, which she justly loves to show off).
These can be served hot or warm or cold, molded or unmolded (they have to cool about 10 minutes before they are stable enough to unmold). After they've been baked they can be reheated in a microwave to restore that melty goodness. And the batter can be made ahead or even frozen so you are never without a chocolate dessert.
I used to just use a bar of Hershey's Special Dark, which is much cheaper ($1.19) than the same chocolate in the baking section. It's divided into 16 pieces, so I use 12 for the batter and four (each broken in two) for the chocolate centers). It's not the best chocolate but full of value for money. But now I think what the hell, buy the best on the shelf, which at Fareway turns out to be Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar.
5 minutes prep. 12 minutes baking [MAFC I 677]
6 ounces dark chocolate, bitter-sweet (the better the chocolate the better the dish)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 ounce (1/8 stick) butter
1 tablespoon flour
- Preheat the oven to 410.
- Over low heat, melt the butter and four ounces of the chocolate, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and smooth. (Or microwave on 'defrost' for 3 minutes)
- In a mixing bowl, with a wire whip, beat the eggs, the sugar, and the flour until well combined and slightly frothy, about one minute.
- Mix in the chocolate.
- Pour 1/3 of the batter into individual ramekins. Place one half of a one-ounce chocolate square in each. Then add the rest of the batter.
- Bake the ramekins for 12 minutes, NO MORE!
- OPTIONAL: Carefully unmold and dust them with powdered sugar and/or garnish with berries or toasted nuts OR place on a bed of custard or whipped cream. Ice cream is also good.
Reasonable wines with this are semi-dry Bergerac or Monbazillac.