Saturday, February 9, 2008

Flourless chocolate cakelets

Last night's feast went well, but the flourless chocolate cake turned out dry and uninteresting. So this afternoon I adapted the recipe and tried again. This time it worked beautifully. Here's what it looked like, and here's how to do it.

Makes six (four, two) individual cakes in ½ cup custard cups or ramekins. You could stretch the 6-serving recipe to fill 8 ramekins if you have plenty of fresh berries and you are serving this after a large meal.
dark chocolate (bittersweet or semi-sweet)
stick unsalted butter
sugar, or a bit less
large egg(s)
unsweetened cocoa powder (dark is best)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter each ramekin, cover the bottom (but not the sides) of each with a circle of waxed paper, and butter the waxed paper.
  • Chop chocolate into small pieces. Put it with butter in a large glass measuring cup or small, microwave-safe mixing bowl. Microwave briefly and gently until the chocolate and butter have almost melted. Be careful not to scorch them.
  • Whisk sugar into chocolate-butter mixture. Add egg(s) and whisk well. Whisk in cocoa powder. Pour batter into ramekins (it will be fairly stiff; you may have to splat it in with a spoon).
  • Bake for 12–14 minutes. You want the top to have formed a skin, but you don’t want the cakes to bake all the way through. Gloppiness is part of the fun. Besides, they will continue to bake after you remove them from the oven.
  • Cook cakes on a rack for 5 or 10 minutes. Invert them; if they don’t slide out easily, run a thin knife around the edges. Remove waxed paper.
  • Serve warm, or cover and refrigerate to serve later. In an air-tight container, they will keep for several days. They hold birthday candles well, and they look lovely if served on a dribble of sauce with berries for garnish.
Based on a recipe originally published in Gourmet (November 1997) and available at Epicurious .

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