Friday, January 22, 2010

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes

Yes, this cake has 9 steps. Yes, it's a bit more labor intensive than our usual desserts. And yes, it's terribly bad for you. But it's totally worth of all of that. Not since the chocolate souffle cake have we posted something so richly chocolatey and utterly delicious. I believe there was a moment of involuntary silence as we all savored our first bite; yum doesn't even begin to cover it.

We'd also like to add that these cakes become incredible moist if eaten the next day. As the molten chocolate center seeps into the cake, it eliminates all chances of driness (also making them less molten, but still delicious). It's almost better than the first day. Almost.

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes
Recipe from The Essential Baker (with directions slightly modified)
Pictures by Caroline

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon superfine sugar*

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped**
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  1. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel to butter the inside of 6, 6-oz custard cups or bowls completely. Sprinkle the inside of each cup or bowl with sugar and rotate the cup or bowl so it is completely covered with sugar, then shake out any excess. Place the cups or bowls on a baking sheet.
  2. Place the 3 oz chocolate in a medium bowl. Place the cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute. Stir the mixture together until very smooth. Add vanilla and stir to blend completely.
  3. Line a cake pan or shallow dish with plastic wrap. Pour the chocolate cream mixture into the pan, cover with plastic wrap, cool to room temperature and chill in the freezer until firm, about 1 hour. (This is called a "ganache"). When the ganache is firm, cut out 6 circular shaped disks (we're bad with circles, so we cut squares. It worked just as well). Set aside, covered, until step 8.
  4. In a double broiler or in the microwave (on 30-second bursts), melt the 6 oz chocolate and cream. Stir frequently to help melt evenly.
  5. Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the chocolate mixture one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  6. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whip on medium high speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue to whip and until egg whites hold soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle on the sugar and whip until the egg whites hold glossy and firm, but not stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 4 stages, stirring gently.
  7. Sprinkle the cake flour over the chocolate mixture and fold in completely.
  8. Fill each cup or bowl 1/2 full of batter, then place the ganache disks in the center of each cup, and fill with the remaining batter. Bake the cakes 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted the the top outer edge comes out moist. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately run a sharp knife around the edges of each cup. Turn the cakes upside down onto individual serving plates and carefully remove the cups or bowls.
  9. Dust the top of each cake with confectioners' sugar. Serve immediately.
*If you don't have any superfine sugar, put some regular granulated sugar in the blender for a few pulses. Just be careful not to blend too long, or you'll end up with something bordering on powdered sugar.
**Like I've mentioned before, my husband tends to shy away from intensely dark chocolate desserts. We used a combination of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate chips.


Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

Although I have not compare the taste of the two recipes, I have a much more simple recipe to make. Let me know if you are interested.

two little chefs said...

Donna- If you'd like to email the recipe to us, we'll try it.

twolittlechefs at gmail dot com.

But let me also add that these little cakes are not difficult to make. If you can read directions, you too can partake of their goodness.

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