easy Lava Cakes
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
2 tablespoons unsalted room-temp butter (plus extra for greasing cups)
2 tablespoons sugar (plus a little extra for dusting cups)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425, and grease 2 (6-8oz) glass baking cups or ramekins- oven safe, of course, with a generous amount of butter, then sprinkle a little sugar into each and turn to coat all sides with the sugar. You should have a nice butter/sugar layer, dump out any excess sugar.
Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing in between, until fully melted. Takes about a minute.
Place the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and cream together with an electric mixer until resembles a paste. You can do this by hand by using a spatula- I've done it both ways and the end result is the same.
Add the eggs to this creamed mixture and beat with the electric mixer, or wisk, until foamy and thoroughly combined- about 1 minute.
Add the flour and salt, and beat again just to combine.
If your chocolate is still hot, only add 1/3 of the chocolate at a time to your mixture- as to not scramble the eggs. Once you've mixed in a little of the chocolate to temper the batter, add the remaining chocolate and mix well.
Divide your batter between the 2 greased cups, and bake for exactly 11 minutes. That seems to be the perfect amount of time I've found, never more, never less, to get the perfect lava center.
When the cakes are done, let cool for 5 minutes, then flip them over carefully onto a plate. You may have to gently tap or wiggle the cups to get the cakes to release. Serve with a garnish of fresh strawberries and a dusting of powdered sugar (optional).