so i looked at a few different recipes, then changed things to my liking, and tweaked my technique a bit
a few tips - use powdered sugar instead of granulated - it dissolves more easily and incorporates less air while mixing. mix the egg mixture gently, again to incorporate less air....the final batter should be the consistency of brownie batter....you might need to play with the cooking time a little bit to see what works for your exact oven...the batter can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, but just make sure to allow to come to room temp before baking
so here is the recipe i like best - it creates a firm, dry exterior (in a good way), with a very liquid core
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
Vanilla extract (a dash or so, i just eyeball it)
4 tbs vanilla
Combine eggs/yolks, sugar and vanilla and set aside (again, do this gently, just enough to incorporate the sugar). Separately, melt the butter and chocolate together - this can be done over a double boiler, or in a microwave if you are careful (chocolate easily scorches, so go slow). Stir butter/chocolate until combined and smooth. Add chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle in flour, while stirring, until fully incorporated.
Preheat oven to 400. Generously butter and flour 4 - 5, 7oz ramekins (for the non-cooks out there, i mean rub a stick of butter all over the inside of each ramekin to get a good coating, then pour in about a tablespoon or so of flour. turn the ramekin around until the entire inside has a coating of flour, then tap out the excess into the next ramekin. You want full flour/butter coverage, but not extra.) Fill each ramekin about 3/4 full of batter, then bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Exact cooking time will depend on your oven and how liquid you want your center - start checking at 10 min. They should look fully cooked on top, but still jiggle if you give them a shake. It might take a few attempts to get your exact time right.
Let cool for 1 min, then serve. They can be eaten right out the ramekin, or turned out onto a plate if you did a good job with the flour/butter coating (run a knife along the edges first if you decide to do that). Serve with ice cream.
To make my presentation a bit more fancy, i first added a light dusting of cocoa powder to an empty plate. Then add the cake (either turned out, or in ramekin), and lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
Thanks MiketheKid for sharing your receipe and thoughts on putting it together. I take it that tempering the egg mixture is not necessary as the chocolate and butter mixture is not that hot? I'd certainly like to try this one out after I stick to my cruise resolution to lose some weight between now and our February cruise...I have tried on one my suits that I will be taking with us, and for some reason the waist on the pants are just a wee bit tight..I'll
suffer through the next few weeks to indulge then.
I prefer using powdered sugar in lots of recipes, my problem is I don't know the conversion for granulated to powdered. I doubt it's one to one because the powdered sugar is not as sweet. I watch the cooking channel a lot (hubby wants to block it), but they've never said, if you want to use powdered sugar instead, use "X" instead of "X". Maybe I need to email them LOL.
keep in mind that volume to volume conversions are estimates (for example, some say that 1 3/4 cups of powdered equals a cup of granulated)....lots of powder-y ingredients (most notably flour) can vary in mass significantly, even if their volume is the same...it all depends on how well "packed" it is....if being accurate really counts, you need to weigh your ingredients (a cup of granulated sugar shouldn't vary much in weight, so you can use that as a baseline)
obviously having a precise amount of powdered sugar or flour doesn't matter much in my recipe since i used volume..... i just poured it from the box into a measuring cup (which would have been different if i use the cup to scoop the sugar out of the box)
and another tip, you can get "almost" powdered sugar by spinning some granulated in a food processor