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Molten Chocolate Cake

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FROZEN CHOCOLATE 6 oz Semisweet chocolate, finely 1 tb Grand Marnier

-chopped 1 ts Vanilla extract 3/4 c Heavy cream 1/4 ts Finely grated orange zest

2 tb Light corn syrup

-CHOCOLATE CAKE- Softened butter, for 1/8 ts Salt -buttering the ramekins 8 tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, 9 oz Semisweet chocolate, -slightly softened

-coarsely chopped 1/2 c Plus 1 tablespoon granulated 1/4 c Water -sugar, separated

2 ts Instant coffee granules 2 ts Vanilla extract

3/4 c Plus 3 tablespoons sifted 3 lg Eggs plus 1 large egg

white, -all-purpose flour -separated (room temp)

ORANGE CREAM 1 1/4 c Heavy cream 1/4 ts Finely grated orange zest

1 tb Granulated sugar 4 ts Grand Marnier (optional)

-GARNISH- Confectioners’ sugar Mint Unsweetened cocoa powder FROZEN CHOCOLATE: Put the chocolate in a 1-quart measuring cup with a pouring spout. In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, heat the cream and corn syrup, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds, to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the Grand Marnier, vanilla and orange zest. Cover an ice cube tray with a piece of plastic wrap. With your fingers, press down on the plastic wrap to line six individual ice cube cavities with plastic. Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the six lined ice cube cavities, filling each one to the brim. Reserve the remaining chocolate mixture in a heat proof bowl to be used later as a sauce. Cover and refrigerate. Cover the filled ice cube tray with plastic wrap. Freeze the ice cube tray with the chocolate mixture for 3 to 4 hours, until frozen solid. Keep the frozen chocolate in the freezer until ready to assemble the dessert. CHOCOLATE CAKE: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of six 6-ounce

ramekins. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet. Melt the chocolate with the water and coffee. Gently whisk until smooth. Let the chocolate mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until tepid. In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour and salt until thoroughly blended. Sift onto a piece of waxed paper. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter for 30 seconds until creamy. While continuing to beat, gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar. Beat in the vanilla. One at a time, add the egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. In a large grease-free bowl using a hand-held electric mixer and clean beaters, beat the egg whites at low speed until frothy. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat the whites until soft peaks start to form. One teaspoon at a time, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating the whites until stiff, shiny peaks form. Fold one-third of the whites along with one-third of the flour mixture into the batter. One-third at a time, gently fold in the remaining egg whites and the flour. Spoon half of the batter, filling each ramekin a little more than half full. Unwrap the frozen chocolate cubes. Nestle a frozen chocolate cube in the center of each batter-filled ramekin. Spoon the remaining batter over the tops of the frozen chocolate cubes, covering them completely.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the batter has risen about 1/2-inch above the ramekin rims and the tops are slightly cracked. While the cakes are baking, prepare the orange cream. ORANGE CREAM: In a chilled large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer or a wire whisk, whip the cream, sugar, orange zest, and Grand Marnier until the cream starts to thicken but is still pourable. Do not overwhip. Gently reheat the leftover chocolate mixture over a pot of hot, not simmering, water. Keep warm. One at time, carefully invert the warm cakes onto large dessert plates. Lightly sift confectioners’ sugar over the tops of the cakes. Spoon some of the orange cream around the base of each cake. Put some cocoa powder in a sugar shaker. Lightly sprinkle cocoa powder over the orange cream and around the plate borders. Garnish the top of each cake with a small sprig of fresh mint. Serve immediately and pass the warm chocolate sauce for those who want an extra dose of chocolate.

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