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When I saw Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman of blog and Food Network fame) make this recipe on her show, it looked so easy and had ingredients I ALWAYS have on hand - I knew that I'd be making it very soon. And I did - I made it that night, and have made it over and over again since! It's like a chocolate lava cake, but more lava than cake... the best part, in my opinion! She serves this with fresh whipped cream, but we've always eaten it with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. The contrast of hot creamy chocolate and cold vanilla goodness is phenomenal!
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Beat the eggs until light in color. Beat in the sugar until just combined. Add the cocoa, flour, melted butter and vanilla extract. Mix gently until well combined.
- Pour the batter into 4 large ramekins. Set the ramekins into a larger baking pan halfway full of water. I use a 9x13 glass pyrex pan and my 4-cup measuring cup full of water. It's easier to set the ramekins in the pan all off to one side, then put the pan in the oven, THEN pour the water in carefully in the empty spot not covered with ramekins.
- Bake until the upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set, 40 to 50 minutes. If you pull it out of the oven and have second thoughts, stick it back in for 10 more minutes.
- Serve with sweetened whipped cream or as we prefer, a scoop of good ol' vanilla ice cream. Best warm right from the oven, but easily re-warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute before topping with the ice cream.