Dulce de Leche Dark Chocolate Molten Cakes

Impress someone sweet with this beautiful dessert: a warm, gooey caramel center surrounded by luscious chocolate cake. Oh, my! And it's easy to make with only seven ingredients.

Serves: 4
Difficulty: easy
Active time: 20 min
Bake time: 18 min
Total time: 2 hr 50 min
Special tools: pastry brush and either 4, 4 oz ceramic ramekins or a muffin pan
Advance prep: can bake and freeze for up to 2 weeks

Ingredients

1 + 7 T unsalted butter, softened
1 c (4 oz) chopped, good quality bittersweet chocolate (such as Callebaut*)
2 lg eggs at room temp
2 egg yolks at room temp
10 T powdered sugar
1/8 t fine sea salt
4 T sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 c dulce de leche**

Steps

Apply 1 T of softened butter to sides and bottom of ramekins using a pastry brush.

In a small microwaveable bowl, melt 7 T butter and chocolate until smooth and combined by microwaving in 30-second intervals, to avoid burning chocolate.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, yolks, powdered sugar and salt until sugar is dissolved. Add chocolate mixture and stir with a spatula until blended.

Add flour and fold with spatula until smooth. Do not overwork.

Divide evenly between four ramekins (or muffin cups). Place a tablespoon of dulce de leche in center of each filled ramekin. Place ramekins on baking sheet then refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place ramekins in oven and bake approx. 18 min, rotating halfway through baking, until cakes rise and a thin crust has formed. Remove from oven and let cool approx. 5 minutes. Then do one of the following, depending on the mold used.

For ramekins: Invert each ramekin onto a serving plate, gently unmold and serve. Or cool, wrap individually and put in freezer.

For foil muffin pan: Cut "cups" apart with scissors and invert onto plates to serve. Or cool, wrap individually and put in freezer.

For regular muffin pan: Place the baked cakes in refrigerator 2-3 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, place the pan in a dish with some hot water, gently release the cakes with a butter knife and remove. Invert onto a serving plate and microwave 30-45 seconds to melt the center. If freezing, remove from pan, wrap individually and place in freezer.

To serve cakes after they're frozen: Thaw for 2 hours, then invert onto a serving plate and microwave 30-45 seconds on high, until the center melts.

*Callebaut bittersweet chocolate is available in your Market Bakery retail section.

**Dulce de leche is a South-American milk confection that's similar to caramel but thicker and richer. Find it in your Market Cheese Shop.