Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gooey Chocolate Cake

I just finished making these. I chose to make them in individual ramekins that were buttered and floured.I think next time, I'll butter and dust them with cocoa instead- I don't particularly like seeing the white dusting of flour against the dark chocolate cake when they are inverted and released from the ramekin. Of course, I found a solution to the evident flour- ice cream, warm huckleberry sauce and a dusting of powdered sugar. How yummy- so good in fact that before I had a chance to take out the camera, Paul had dug into it and finished it right up! I did manage to take a not so great photo, posted above, of the second version, that we ate with a warm pear/cinnamon caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, again.

These had a melted center, somewhat, but not like I expected. The chocolate stayed on top and didn't find its way to the center like I had imagined. They were really good, but not as molten as I thought they would be. I would say that you need to do exactly as Dorie says- cook these for 13 minutes only if you know your oven temp. is right on.

The great thing about this recipe is how easy it is- no Kitchenaid, no food processor-just a whisk, spoon, a couple of bowls and a few other things. This is a recipe you can make when you have very limited kitchen tools- these are important recipes to have and I wish I had known how to make this back in my college days. If you don't have a double boiler, it is really easy to improvise- just put a glass or metal bowl over the top of a small saucepan filled with about an inch of water. You don't want the bottom of the bowl to come into contact with the water.

I did make a couple of changes: I added a tsp. of espresso powder in with the chocolate while it melted. I also added 2 tsp. of vanilla extract. I also added about 2 tablespoons of a delicious Port that was given to me by a friend to only one of the cakes, and truthfully we've yet to eat that one, but I have a feeling it will be heavenly.

Gooey Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan, Baking From My Home to Yours

My version of the recipe is:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 1 ounce very finely chopped (I used Chocolove, 70%)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Position your rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and dust with cocoa 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, or 4 ramekins and place on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Using a double boiler, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the top and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted. Remove the bowl from the pan of water as soon as the chocolate mixture is melted and smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until they come together. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir them gently into the eggs. Add the melted chocolate slowly- I added about a 1/3 at a time and folded it in ( I basically made a figure 8 with the whisk to incorporate the chocolate). Divide the batter evenly among your ramekins or muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. While still on the baking sheet, move these to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. While these cool, gather your ice cream/whipping cream/creme anglaise/caramel/powdered sugar, etc.

If you have baked these in individual ramekins, now is a good time to grab your guests and allow them to invert their individual cakes themselves. I think its a nice gesture and makes everyone comfortable and excited about what they are about to eat next. Pick up the ramekin with one hand- it shouldn't be too hot now and grab a plate with the other. Place the plate on top of the ramekin and flip. When you flip the two over the ramekin will be on top, and with a gentle shake, the cake should come out easily.

If you've used a muffin tin, place a cutting board on top of the tin and invert the same way you would for the ramekins. You'll then be able to gently place each individual cake on the plate.

These are pretty dusted with powdered sugar, and served with cold ice cream. We tried them both with fresh huckleberry sauce and caramel and both were fantastic.


Nikki57 said...

Your cakes look great, but you're a wee bit early. We post our results on Tuesdays :)

Mary said...

Wait- I thought I had all week to post! See how much I have to learn. So,the rules are that everyone posts on Tuesday- what if I'm busy that day?

Madam Chow said...

Your cakes looks lovely, and I like your idea of adding the vanilla. And the port!
Madam Chow

Marie said...

I think your cakes look fabulous! Mine were more fudgy than gooey, but they did taste delicious, especially with a drizzle of muscovado toffee sauce and some clotted cream!!

LyB said...

I love the idea of dusting the muffin tins with cocoa powder instead of flour. Oh, and I so wish I had known how to make these back at University, I would have been soooo popular! ;)
Your cakes look deliciously gooey!

Annemarie said...

It looks soooo good all swirly with the ice cream & sauces...yum!!!

April said...

YUM!! looks delicious!

Lori said...

Love the cocoa powder idea! Your cakes turned out fabulous, I bet all of the variations were good too!

Rachel said...

Great idea with the cocoa powder!

Gretchen Noelle said...

What great sounding cakes! Chocolate, coffee, ice cream, caramel...wow!!