Sunday, April 16, 2017

Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcakes

Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcake cut up to reveal molten center
Molten Lava Demo

Recipe from Unknown Photocopy

Here’s a fast chocolate-y recipe that has never failed to delight. It’s a hit both at potlucks and at home. Chocolate lava cupcakes require only about 50 minutes of your time including baking and cooling. The only challenging part is that the batter, with its hefty dose of melted chocolate, is thick and sticky and tricky to get into the muffin tins neatly. Scooping with a soup spoon in one hand and a small rubber spatula in the other helps direct the batter somewhat accurately. If you can’t serve these right away, a short zap in the microwave will re-moltenize the cupcakes to gooey deliciousness.

Single Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcake on Plate
Welcome at Any Potluck or Party
The original recipe made 8 cupcakes. This seemed odd, given the cakes' popularity and the fact that modern muffin tins are designed to make 12. I altered the recipe to make 1 dozen, but also included the recipe for 8, which was the style for muffin tins in older days. Though the recipe calls for unsalted butter, I’ve used salted butter and eliminated the added salt. There is no noticeable difference. The only rocket-science parts of concocting these goodies are (1) don’t overdo the mixing-in of the chocolate, and (2) don’t over-bake. Slightly under-baked will mean more molten lava inside the ‘cakes, which might cause them to collapse slightly, but this is never a cause for complaint. Over-baked, there will be little or no molten chocolate lava, and this defeats the purpose of the recipe.

Try these chocolate-y treats at your next party or potluck. You needn’t share the details about how easy and foolproof the recipe is.

Single Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcake Aerial View
Unassuming Yet Yummy
Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcakes
Yield: 12 muffins

16½ oz. semisweet chocolate
½ cup + 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 - 2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter a 12-muffin tin, or insert large paper cupcake liners.

Melt chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously after each interval to melt chocolate. Set aside to cool.

Beat softened butter with electric mixer on medium-high. Beat in sugar till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. This can also be done by hand, but it will take longer.

Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.

Stir together salt and flour in small bowl. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture, with mixer on low speed. Add chocolate. Stir in with mixer on low until just combined.

Scoop batter out of mixing bowl with a rounded spoon (soup spoon works well) and rubber spatula, and fill cupcake tins evenly, about ¾ full. Batter will be very sticky, so a wet paper towel nearby is helpful.

Two Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcakes on a Plate
Chocolate Enough to Share
Bake until tops are just barely set and no longer shiny, and timing will vary depending on your oven, muffin tin, and whether paper liners were used. Check first at 8 minutes. They will be done in a total of 9 – 11 minutes. Do not over-bake.

Place hot muffin pan on cooling rack. Sift confectioner's sugar over cupcake tops. When solid enough to move without squashing, about 7 minutes, transfer to a wire rack. Cool about 10 minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Transfer to platter and serve.

Note: if you are unable to serve these right away, they can be zapped up in the microwave just prior to serving, about 30 seconds on high. Re-dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.

If for any reason you’d like to make a smaller cupcake batch, here are the recipe’s original proportions:

Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcakes: Smaller Quantity
Yield: 8 muffins

11 oz. semisweet chocolate
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. sea salt
~1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

Proceed as above, filling 8 muffin cups ¾ full. This smaller yield might take 1-2 fewer minute to bake. Check at 8 minutes and do not over-bake.

Mixing the Melted Chocolate into the Batter
Chocolate is the Main Ingredient

A Dozen Cupcakes before Baking
Don't Smooth Out the Batter in the Muffin Tin

A Dozen Chocolate Molten Lava Cupcakes After Baking
Let Cool in Pan Until You Can Handle Them Without Warping Them

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