donut pan idea no. 55: lava donuts

It's been almost two months since I've used my donut pans. Sacre bleu! I'm back at it now though. Here's donut pan idea no. 55: molten lava donuts! This is a great idea if you don't have ramekins or other molds around for individual lava cakes. The donut pans work well because the batter bakes up just enough to allow you to flip all of the donuts out of the pan afterwards without them falling apart, but they are still liquid-y and fudge-y and addictive! Plus, to be able to hold a lava cake in your hand while drinking your coffee? Nothing wrong with that.

This is one of Stella's many clever donut pan ideas (like this one), so kudos to her. She was really good at eating these, too!

Click on "read more" below to get the full recipe and instructions.

I adapted THIS molten chocolate cake recipe by Mark Bittman from the New York Times. The recipe yields eight donuts and bakes very quickly. For the batter you will need 1/2 c. unsalted butter (plus more to grease your pans), 4 oz. 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate in small pieces, 4 large eggs, 1/4 c. sugar and 2 tbsp. flour (plus more for dusting pans). You will also need a quick spray of Baker's Joy baking spray here or there if you have it around, and powdered sugar to dust the donuts with before serving.

Start by preheating your oven to 450º and setting up a double boiler on the stove. Melt the 1/2 c. butter in the bowl of your double boiler. Add the chocolate to the melted butter and stir until melted and well combined. Set aside.

Next, add two whole eggs and two egg yolks (save the whites for another time) to a medium bowl. Add the 1/4 c. sugar and beat with an electric mixer for a minute or two, until the mixture thickens a little and is light colored. Add the egg mixture and the two tbsp. flour to the butter/chocolate mixture and mix with an electric mixer until just well combined.

Butter the donut pan cavities, then sift with flour to coat all sides. If there are any bare spots, coat them with baking spray and yet another quick sifting of flour. Belt and suspenders, people!

Divide the batter evenly between eight donut pan cavities. Place the pans in the oven and bake from 3-5 minutes ONLY. You want the middles of the tops to still be wet when they come out of the oven. If you over bake, they will still taste incredible but they won't have that molten lava texture and flavor in your mouth. Start watching the tops at around three minutes.

Ideally when they come out of the oven they will look like this, or ever so slightly wetter:

Let the lava donuts cool and set up for just around 10-15 seconds, then carefully and gently flip the donut pan onto an unheated cookie tray. They won't look that beautiful until you dust them with a nice coating of powdered sugar, so do that!

You can pick them up and eat them right away right off the tray:

Or transfer them to individual plates to serve:

Excellent either way, with cold milk or hot coffee!


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