You will never know if this is me posting now . . . or me posting yesterday . . . or some "undeard" zombies who have invaded my body (but don't worry, Beth . . . I'm sure that possibility is pretty remote . . . ) BUT, regardless, HERE is the thing you've all been waiting for: VOLCANO CAKES! I've never had them at Chili's, by the way. But these are not really very hard to make. Remember that the chocolate filling has to chill for a while so it will form into balls, but other than that you can whip them out after dinner and eat them hot out of the oven. You'll love them. (By the way, Jessica, Abe and Seb LOVE volcanoes, and Abe always requests these for his birthday, too.) Enjoy!
For the lava:
3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces ) "good-quality chocolate", chopped (that's half a bag of chocolate chips, to you bottom-dwellers who don't shop at Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons whipping cream
For the cake:
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate, chopped (see above)
3/4 cup butter
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. For filling, in a small heavy saucepan combine the 3/4 cup chocolate pieces and whipping cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove pan from heat. Cool, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill about 45 minutes or until firm. (I do this in microwave: put choc. chips and cream in a glass bowl, put in microwave one minute on high, stir till smooth. Then chill.)
2. Meanwhile, in a medium heavy saucepan (or microwave, as above) cook and stir the 1 cup chocolate pieces and the butter over low heat until melted. Remove from heat; cool.
3. Form chilled filling into 8 equal-sized balls; set aside. Lightly grease and flour (or spray with pan spray) eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or six 6-ounce custard cups. Place dishes or cups in a 15x10x1_inch baking pan; set aside.
4. In a mixing bowl beat eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed 5 minutes or until lemon-colored. Beat in cooled chocolate/butter mixture on medium speed. Sift flour and cocoa powder over mixture; beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into dishes. Place 1 ball of filling into each dish of batter. Spoon remaining batter into dishes, on top of filling. (So you're enclosing the lava in the cake batter---covering it, hopefully. Got it?)
5. Bake in a 400 degree oven about 13 minutes or until cakes feel firm at edges.
Cool in dishes 2 to 3 minutes. Using a knife, loosen cakes from sides of dishes. Invert onto dessert plates. If desired, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries. Serve immediately.
Make-ahead directions: Prepare as above through step 4. Cover and chill until ready to bake or up to 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking as directed.