I am not generally very good about making decisions. Big ones or small ones, they all tend to baffle me. If it’s a big decision, the implications can be so large that I constantly wonder if I chose the right thing (hence, buying a house, even though we found the perfect one, was so incredibly stressful). If it’s a small one, the implications are so small that I can’t seem to decide which is more important because either option can hardly hold an argument.
I had to make a big decision last week, and it was a hard one to make. I mean, it was easy in one way because as soon as I made it I felt an instant wave of relief. But it is also difficult, because the implications can be a little frightening.
I decided to quit my job last week. I know, I know. I had hardly just begun it, and technically I did not even get through all of my training. But it seemed that every day I went, I learned something else that made me feel it was not the right place for me. On paper it was the perfect job for me, exactly the kind of thing I have always said I wanted to do. But something did not feel right, and even though the decision was difficult, I think I did the right thing.
So let’s move on to a bit of chocolate comfort as I am still reeling a bit from this sudden change in plans.
These little cakes are a classic in Gerrit’s family. They are so easy to make, require a minuscule amount of prep time and hardly any baking time. When Gerrit and I were dating and I would go to his family’s house for dinner (or really even now), they were the kind of thing his mother would make at the last minute. Just at the point when I thought we wouldn’t have dessert, she would say, “I think I have the stuff to make molten lava cakes,” and everyone’s eyes would start to shine.
They are a bit temperamental, and to be honest with you I don’t yet feel like I’ve ever made a perfect batch. (In the case of this batch, I overcooked them a bit.) You have to take them out of the oven well before they seem done, and then, even if they are perfect, it can be a bit disastrous to take them out of the pan. But no matter what, the flavor will be there, whether they are a mess of runny chocolate or over-baked and seem more like a miniature traditional cake. Either way you won’t regret it. Making these, as supposed to so many other things in life, is not a hard decision to make.
Molten Lava Cakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 11 minutes
Makes about 8
4 (1 oz.) semisweet baking squares
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ice cream and/or whipped topping, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, melt chocolate and butter together in microwave by heating for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
3. Add powdered sugar to chocolate, stirring until blended. Then stir in eggs and egg yolks, then the flour, and finally the vanilla.
4. Pour batter into the cups of a lightly greased muffin tin, filling each one about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.
5. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. They should look under-done.
6. Let them stand for 1 minute, and then serve hot with ice cream or whipped topping (or completely by themselves).