March 31, 2008

Check Your Will Power at the Door

It's Tuesday (technically Wednesday now, since I am a bit lagging in posting) and Dorie fans across the blogosphere are sharing their weekly baked yummi-ness from Baking: From My Home to Yours. Many thanks to Leigh of Lemon Tartlet for choosing this week's recipe, Gooey Chocolate Cakes. Excellent, excellent choice, Leigh. These little cakes were so moist and gooey inside, I really considered licking my plate clean when no one was looking. I think I could have eaten all six myself, but I did exercise constraint and managed to maintain the slightest shred of dignity by only having one. My resident tasters were in love, too, hovering in the kitchen for quite some time looking for more long after the last crumb was gone.

Dorie suggests using disposable muffin tins for these. I had mini bundt pans in my kitchen that have been collecting dust for many months now and were begging to be used.

I topped each cake with an apricot and ginger glaze, as I wanted something to add a little color and unexpected flavor. It was the perfect balance of rich, gooey chocolate offset by the sweet apricot and a little zing from crystallized ginger.

Per the directions, I added finely chopped chocolate to the tops of the cakes, but I probably wouldn't bother next time. It didn't really add anything and really just made my cakes look a little messy on top.

All in all, this was very easy to prepare and is flexible to allow for modifications. I could see making this for dessert when entertaining. Get your fill of more gooey cakes.

Gooey Chocolate Cakes
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
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar

Getting Ready
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter (or spray - it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Set a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted - you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogeneous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)

Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.

These should be served as soon as they are put on plates. The cakes are not meant to be served alone - they need something to play off their warm, gooey, soooooo chocolaty interior. Ice cream is the most obvious choice and, to my mind, the best in terms of texture and, of course, temperature. Any chocolate-friendly flavor will be good. Circling the cakes with crème anglaise is another good idea and, for those for whom too much is not enough, circling the cakes with crème anglaise and running a ring of bittersweet chocolate sauce through the custard is an even better idea.

Although the whole point of a warm, runny cake is to eat it when it is warm and runny, the cake is still delicious, but different, the following day. If you wrap the cooled cakes in plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature, the next day the texture of the center of the cake (the part that was once gooey) will remind you of ganache. Eating the cake will be like enjoying a bonbon: it will be firm on the outside and creamy within.

More Dorie recipes from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Perfect Party Cake
Brioche Raisin Snails
Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake
Snickery Squares
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits
Almost-Fudge Gâteau


LyB said...

The apricot and ginger glaze is a lovely variation, so shiny! Looks delicious!

Dolores said...

I love the glaze... it makes your cakes look so... spring! Great job with this week's assignment.

Jhianna said...

Oooooh, mini bundt pans and crystallized ginger? *swoon*

the AIRY FAIRY said...

the mere name of these little delights is enough to make me drool. i can only imagine the taste and am restraining myself from licking the computer screen!!!!!

Astra Libris said...

Ohhhh, your glaze is incredible... and I love the mini bundt pans you used! Such a beautiful creation!

Tartelette said...

Beautiful job! You're right, no willpower will pass my hands, mouth and whole body if I make these!!

Peabody said...

The mini Bundt pans were a great idea.

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