gooey nutella filled chocolate cakes

Now that we’re post Super Bowl, I can start looking ahead at Valentine’s day! Everyone knows that molten lava cakes are like the quintessential v-day dessert, don’t even fight me on this. While I enjoy a molten cake, they really are a little bit of a pain in the ass—least of all getting them out of their baking containers. I sort of simplified the recipe a bit and instead of using frozen ganache in the center, I’m using chilled Nutella. Because, Nutella. These little cakes are like if molten cakes and brownies had a baby. They’re super fudgy with a gooey center and I just serve them right in the ramekin. No rigmarole insanity of trying to get a cake out of its baking shell while keeping it intact.

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The best part is that the cakes come together so easily. I even impressed myself with how easy they were. AND they can be made up to 5 hours in advance before baking. Or they can be refrigerated overnight after baking and all they need is a zap in the microwave to warm them up. I’m all for a night out on the town and a nice dinner, but Valentine’s Day is the literal worst day to go out in my opinion. Everything is wildly expensive, restaurants are overcrowded and the menus are geared towards simplicity for the kitchen to make everything run more smoothly (trust me, I speak from experience). So why pay more for simple, albeit good, food while you’re smushed in way too close to some other couple? Not exactly romantic in my opinion. You know what’s romantic? A nice steak, cooked at home for a reasonable cost, a couple of these molten cakes, a bottle of champagne and me and my husband in sweats hanging out together. And to be honest, what better way to show your love for someone than by cooking for them? Besides, shoving myself into a little black dress before going out and gorging myself over a nice dinner is not my idea of comfortable. So leading up to the ultimate day of hearts, I’m going to be sharing some awesome recipes that you can make at home for Valentine’s Day! Like this reverse seared ribeye with duck fat potatoes and au poivre sauce. Or maybe even this surf and turf with crispy smashed potatoes. How about this truffle risotto? The options for an excellent meal at home are endless and infinitely more cost effective.

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And let me tell you, even if you’re single and celebrating love for yourself on this day: YOU STILL DESERVE CHOCOLATE CAKE. So whatever your plans may be, try and work these bad boys in because they are truly tops. Stay tuned for more awesome recipes!

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Products I used in this recipe:

Yield: 4 servings

gooey nutella filled chocolate cakes

prep time: 30 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 70 mins

ingredients:

  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, diced
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chilled nutella
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

instructions:

  1. The first thing I do when I know I want to bake these cakes is chill my little jar of nutella in the fridge for about an hour so that it's firm enough to scoop. 
  2. Grease four 10 oz oven safe ramekins with butter and dust with cocoa powder and place on a small baking sheet. In a medium saucepan over very low heat, gently melt the chocolate and diced butter together, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and butter are completely melted. Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool slightly. Then stir in the salt, flour and cocoa powder. In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high. Slowly stream in the sugar and whip on high until light in color and fluffy. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg/sugar mixture until evenly mixed. Divide evenly between the ramekins. Chill the cakes in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 5 hours. 
  3. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop one tablespoon of chilled nutella and gently press it into one of the chilled cakes. Repeat for the remaining three. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops have cracked slightly. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve dusted with powdered sugar and a scoop of ice cream if desired. 

NOTES:

If you want to use smaller ramekins (like 6 or 8 oz) you can scale the recipe down. Adjust the cooking times accordingly. For instance, if you're using 6 oz ramekins I would start checking them around 20 minutes and maybe do smaller scoops of nutella in the center. 

I don't recommend chocolate chips for this recipe, I just bought two nice 4 oz bittersweet chocolate bars and broke them into pieces.
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