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lavish lava chocolate cakes with Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream
Haagen Dazs
this warm dessert can be made ahead and refrigerated, then baked just 15 minutes before serving. for extra decadence, add a filling of chocolate truffle, raspberry jam, nuts, or coconut. serve with your favorite Häagen-Dazs vanilla or vanilla swiss almond ice cream.

makes 6 or 7 servings.

1-1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 8 ounces chocolate, chopped)
5 Tbs butter, plus butter for ramekins
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp finely ground espresso beans (optional)
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream


 
ingredients
Preparation

preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. generously butter six 3/4-cup size ramekins or custard cups, or 7 muffin cups.

in a microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate and butter on medium power 1 to 2 minutes, until butter is melted. stir, reheating if necessary to melt chocolate; set aside. stir egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar into chocolate-butter mixture. add espresso if using.

place egg whites in a large mixing bowl; beat until foamy. combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cocoa powder; gradually beat into whites, until soft peaks fold over when beaters are lifted. stir 1/3 of the chocolate-butter mixture into whites. gently fold in remaining chocolate until completely combined.

divide evenly between cups or pour half the batter into cups and add a filling variation as suggested below. (at this point, you can cover the batter and refrigerate up to 24 hours before baking.)

bake 10 to 12 minutes, until puffy and cracks form on top. edges should be firm and center moist between the cracks. (bake 14 to 16 minutes if the batter is refrigerated). remove from oven and let cool 3 minutes. serve in ramekins, or run a knife around the edges and invert cakes onto dessert plates. serve hot with ice cream.

variations:

fill cups with half the batter. top with a small chocolate truffle, or a teaspoonful of raspberry jam, sweetened flaked coconut, chopped walnuts, or pecans. pour remaining batter on top. bake as directed above.