This week’s TWD was actually traditional madeleines chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home. It was a great choice and I would have really liked to make them. Unfortunately, madeleines require a special pan and I do not yet own a madeleine pan. Sure, I could have gone out and purchased one, but storage in our kitchen is already an issue and it just didn’t make sense to add to the clutter with a pan I wouldn’t use all that often.

Fortunately, for those of us without the madeleine pan, we were given the option to bake another recipe from Dorie’s book that had already been completed prior to our joining the group. Luckily, there were 17 recipes completed before I joined TWD so I had a lot to choose from! The decision to go with the gooey chocolate cakes was based on a few factors: 1) Shane and I love chocolate lava cakes, 2) I could easily cut the recipe back to make just enough for the two of us and 3) it was a simple recipe that wouldn’t require too much time.

As it turned out, I was extremely pleased to have selected these cakes because they were fantastic!! I cut the recipe in half so we’d only have 3 cakes and also used semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet but otherwise I followed Dorie’s instructions to a T. Actually, that’s a lie….I only cooked the cakes for 11 minutes (versus 13) as I really wanted to make sure we’d have gooey centers…..and we did!!! I’ve tried at least 2 other lava cake recipes but this one was by far the best. I know we’ll be coming back to this recipe many times in the future!

As always, be sure to check out the other blogs over at TWD! There should be a nice assortment of recipes this week as some people make the madeleines and others choose from previous recipes.

Next week’s recipe is Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and I’m very excited to give it a shot! I’m also feeling very thankful that it’s a 3-day weekend as I think this one is going to take some time…

Gooey Chocolate Cakes
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
4 ounces coarsely chopped,
1 ounce very finely chopped
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogenous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into th eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)

Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.

Makes 6 cakes.