But this past summer, I discovered my favorite chocolate. This was a pretty huge deal, now that you know that I don't take favorites lightly. When I took my first bite of Recchiuti at the San Fransisco Ferry Market, I was in love. I've had my share of different chocolates -- but this was nothing like anything I've tasted before. It was smooth, with a bold, fruity chocolate flavor as well as smoky, subtle cocoa flavor. It was perfect. I brought home a few bars, and although the first few didn't last long, I had enough self control to save two bars for baking.
I knew I had to bake them into something special. I didn't want to drown something that was already so perfect in marshmallow fluff or caramel sauce, nor did I want to bake them into something boring like brownies. I needed a recipe simple enough to let their flavors shine through. After waiting six months, I finally found the perfect recipe to use them in. My good friend's mom who is an amazing cook made dark chocolate lava cakes for dessert (served with homemade vanilla gelato). The combination of cool, creamy gelato and warm molten chocolate was absolutely perfect, and I knew that I had to learn to make these myself. She let me copy the recipe, and of course, I made them the next day.
Because I only had two bars of Recchiuti, I couldn't screw this recipe up (talk about pressure!), so I did some research. Here are a few pieces of advice for perfect lava cakes. Remember to grease your ramekins generously -- you want the cakes to slide right out. If they stick, you will end up with a (delicious) pile of goo. Also, keep an eye on them in the oven, they cook insanely quickly. You’re looking for cooked outside & soft inside (soft does not mean jiggly). Start checking at around 10 minutes, 12 minutes worked perfectly for me but every oven is different.
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Recipe by Jean-Georges Vongerichten
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