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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chocolate Lava Muffins

While our kitchen was undergoing the remodel, I would read myself to sleep at night with the Alton Brown cookbook: Good Eats. Before falling asleep, I would use post-it notes to mark recipes that I wanted to make once the kitchen was operational. One of those recipes was Chocolate Lava Muffins.

Since the kitchen became functional, I have made this dessert several times, usually when we had guests over for dinner. This dessert is very easy to make, the hardest parts are: 1-Getting the muffin out of the pan intact (more on that later), 2-Not eating them all in one sitting.

To make the muffin mix, I make a double boiler with the bowl from our KitchenAid stand mixer (without a handle) placed over a large saucepan with about of inch of water inside. I set the heat to medium and put the eight ounces of bittersweet chocolate (usually two bars) inside to melt with the four ounces of butter. While that is melting, I use my postage scale to measure the flour and sugar into another bowl and add the cocoa powder and salt. I just mix all the dry ingredients together with a large spoon.

Once the chocolate and butter melt, I added the vanilla extract (a homemade gift from our son and his wife), and stir the vanilla into the chocolate. Removing the mixing bowl from the saucepan, I dry the bottom and place it on the stand mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing on medium speed.

The next step is adding the four eggs, one at a time into the chocolate. Once one egg is fully integrated, then adding the next egg. Once all the eggs are added to the mixture, the speed is set to low to add the dry ingredients. Alton recommends using a paper plate to add the dry ingredients, I just spoon the flour mixture into the mixer bowl with a tablespoon at little at a time until all the dry stuff is added.

Now comes the fun, set the mixer speed on high and let it mix for five or six minutes until the mixture lightens in color. This time it took the full six minute, but I could see quite a difference in the color. Once this was finished, I covered the bowl with plastic and put the mixture in the refrigerator until I was ready to bake the muffins.

Setting the oven to 350 degrees on convention mode (375 degrees conventional), I used a paper towel dipped in margarine to give the inside of each hole in a muffin pan a very even margarine coating. Then I spooned about 1 /4 teaspoon of cocoa powder into each buttered hole and took it outside to rotate the pan so that the inside of each hole is completely covered with cocoa. Getting a good coating is essential to releasing the finished muffins.

I spoon enough of the muffin mixture to fill each hole about half way, and then place it in the oven for eleven minutes to bake. Once the muffins are baked (though they don’t look baked as the centers are still runny) I remove them from the oven and let them rest for about two minutes before removing. I use a plastic knife and go around the side of each muffin to make sure the muffins are not sticking to the sides of the muffin pan.

Good Eats: The Early YearsGetting the muffins out intact is the biggest problem, I have tried directly lifting them out, but you have to wait until they cool quite a bit, I have turned them over on a plate which does work, but the tops may stick to the plate. Don’t turn them over onto a paper towel like I did this time, a little bit of the top of each muffin stuck to the towel. The best luck I have had is using two plastic knifes and prying on one side while lifting on the other. Let me know what works for you.

Alton recommends making a sauce of vanilla ice cream and espresso powder. We just serve them with vanilla ice cream on the side and everyone loves them. This is a very easy recipe to make, but guests are always surprised when we serve them.

Find the recipe at:

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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