With its molten chocolate heart, this is a dessert showstopper, taken to another level with the additon of cinnamon-honey figs.
- 2 cups (500 ml) dry red wine
- ¼ cup (60 ml) honey
- ¼ cup (60ml) sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
- 8 dried figs, halved
- 175 g (¾ cup) butter, plus extra for greasing ramekins
- 1 cup (240 ml) chopped bittersweet chocolate
- ¼ cup flour, plus extra for dusting ramekins
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or substitute 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp finely ground espresso beans
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp finely ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp finely ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp finely ground cardamom
- Whipped cream, to serve
- Fresh fruit, optional, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need 8 150-180 ml ( 5-6 oz) oven safe ramekins.
1. For the poached figs, combine wine, honey, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and figs in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer figs for 25-30 minutes.
2. Remove figs from the syrup and reserve. Continue reducing syrup over medium-high heat until it reaches ½ cup of syrup. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves, and add figs back to the syrup. Remove from heat and reserve.
3. For the cake, preheat oven to 230°C (450°F).
4. Place a metal mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water over medium heat. Add butter to mixing bowl and heat until completely melted. Add chocolate and heat until completely melted, then whisk together with the butter.
5. Butter the inside of the ramekins and lightly dust with flour.
6. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, brown sugar and salt for 4-5 minutes, until mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk a small amount of the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the egg mixture, mix for a few seconds, then slowly add remainder and continue whisking to combine. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and flour, and mix for 1 minute, or until perfectly smooth.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins, leaving ½-inch (1.25 cm) from the top. Place ramekins on a baking tray and then into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and allow to rest for one minute, then turn cakes over onto a plate to remove from the ramekins.
9. Serve cakes warm, with whipped cream, poached figs and/or fresh fruit, if desired.