Chocolate Lava Cakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Chocolate Lava Cake - perfectly cooked with an oozing center. Credit: Karen Sheer

Chocolate Lava Cake – perfectly cooked with an oozing center. Credit: Karen Sheer

Let Your LOVE Flow this Valentine’s Day with This Yummy, Fudgy Treat.

This Valentine’s Day treat your sweetie to a delicious, rich, dense homemade individual cake.

A chocolate treat that has a warm, gooey, flowing chocolate-peanut butter center. Who can resist this?

This is an easy recipe, and will teach you the principles of a soufflé cake – egg whites are whipped to soft peaks and folded in before baking. Rich chocolate-peanut butter truffles are made ahead of time, and when firm are dropped in the batter for a molten, oozing center. (PS: they are fabulous truffles by themselves!)

I have reduced the fat and sugar content, adding extra bittersweet chocolate for texture and dense flavor.

Gluten-free? No problem! There is only a small amount of flour here, 1/3 cup – substitute  all purpose gluten-free flour blend for amazing results.

Cooking properly in a water bath is important for the consistency… do not overcook – just until the cake has set.

Making ahead of time? Undercook a bit, then reheat and let the lovely center flow. Alternately, prepare the cakes and refrigerate until ready to bake. Place on your countertop for at least a half an hour to take out the chill, then pop in a hot oven and serve immediately.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Make it a sweet one.

A sweet treat on Valentine's Day. Credit: Karen Sheer

A sweet treat on Valentine’s Day. Credit: Karen Sheer

Use good quality bittersweet chocolate. Credit: Karen Sheer

Use good quality bittersweet chocolate. Credit: Karen Sheer

Fold in soft, whipped egg whites until just combined. Credit: Karen Sheer

Fold in soft, whipped egg whites until just combined. Credit: Karen Sheer

The batter is ready, truffles are firm and scooped. Credit: Karen Sheer

The batter is ready, truffles are firm and scooped. Credit: Karen Sheer

Fill the ramekins three-forths full, drop in truffles and bake. Credit: Karen Sheer

Fill the ramekins three-forths full, drop in truffles and bake. Credit: Karen Sheer

Out of the oven.. take a spoon and dig in! Credit: Karen Sheer

Out of the oven.. take a spoon and dig in! Credit: Karen Sheer

Let the love flow... Credit: Karen Sheer

Let the love flow… Credit: Karen Sheer

Recipe – Chocolate Lava Cakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces butter, (1 stick) I use organic
  • tablespoons neutral oil*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  •  cup cake flour, or gluten-free flour mix (works great!)
  •  teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • tablespoons heavy cream, I use organic
  • ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate, fiinely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • tablespoons natural peanut butter

Method:

Make the truffle filling at least 2 hours before baking, or the night before.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter 4 individual baking ramekins (with a 1 cup capacity.)
Sift some cocoa in them, swirl, and discard excess. Set aside.
Have ready a large pan for setting the ramekins in (a pyrex rectangular pan works great.)
Heat water to boiling in a kettle, then place on low heat until needed.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place in a metal bowl with the butter. Melt over a  simmering pan of boiling water, that does not touch the bowl (or use a bain marie.)  Add the oil. Remove from heat. Add the vanilla and 3 egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. Sift in the 1/3 cup cake flour and gently mix with a rubber spatula.

Place the egg whites in a clean bowl (of stand mixer) and whisk on high speed. After frothy, add the salt and cream of tartar. Then, add the 1/4 cup sugar slowly until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.

Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three additions with the spatula. Spoon the batter evenly into the ramekins. Using a small scoop, drop 3 or 4 mounds of the lava filling into the batter of each ramekin.
Place the ramekins in a baking pan to hold, then add boiling water to the pan, with the water reaching half way up the sides.

Bake until just set, about 8 – 10 minutes. Do not overcook, should be firm on top, yet soft in the center.
Serve immediately – the center “lava” will flow. If not overcooked, can be reheated just until warmed through.

Lava Truffle Filling:
Heat 3 tablespoons of the heavy cream (microwave is easiest.)
Add 1/4 cup chopped chocolate, and 1 teaspoon butter. Mix until smooth. Add the peanut butter, combine well.
Cool, then refrigerate until firm, covered tightly. Scoop 1/2″ rounds on a piece of waxed paper.

Making ahead of time? Undercook a bit, then reheat and let the lovely center flow. Alternately, prepare the cakes and refrigerate until ready to bake. Place on your countertop for at least a half an hour to take out the chill, then pop in a hot over and serve immediately.

* with concerns about gmo’s and processing of oils, use a vegetable oil which has not been chemically treated, this is called “expeller pressed.”

This recipe may not be produced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.


 

Karen SheerKaren Sheer lives and cooks in Greenwich. She is a professional chef, writer, caterer, photographer and food consultant specializing in original recipes. Her blog is “A Zest For Life”– Karen’s Obsession with Food and Style. Each recipe is inventive, original and well tested. Karen’s recipes are written to give you the feeling she is in the kitchen with you coaching step by step. Health and wellness are her passions. Karen’s recipes promote fresh, local ingredients which lead to a healthier lifestyle!


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