Blackberry Wine Sauce
Place the wine, blackberries, orange zest, thyme, sugar and orange juice in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer, allowing the sauce to reduce and the blackberries to break down, approximately 10–15 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the orange zest and thyme. Transfer the wine sauce to a blender and purée until smooth. Run the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, removing the blackberry seeds, and pour the sauce back into the pot. Warm over low heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and set aside. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Dark Chocolate Lava Cake
Preheat oven to 400°. Liberally brush the bottom and sides of 4 (8- ounce) ramekins with butter and then dust with sugar. Set aside.
Place a shallow heatproof bowl over a pot of just-simmering water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). Add the dark chocolate, butter and 2 tablespoons of blackberry wine to the bowl and stir until melted and silky. Remove from the heat and stir in cocoa. Set aside.
Place the egg whites in a bowl and beat on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat on high speed while adding the sugar. Beat until egg whites form stiff peaks. Once stiff peaks form, add ¼ of the whites to the chocolate and fold into the mixture, using a rubber spatula and being careful not to deflate the egg whites. Once incorporated, fold in the remaining egg whites.
Fill the ramekins ¾ of the way with the chocolate mixture. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the tops are set and just beginning to crack. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 2–3 minutes before placing a plate on top of the ramekin and turning the cake out onto the plate. Serve immediately, topping with blackberry wine sauce, whipped cream, fresh blackberries and thyme.
* Lava cake recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking. Blackberry wine sauce is an original recipe.