Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Chocolate Cakes

Yesterday, I attempted to make flourless chocolate cookies, but it wasn't successful. I will try again, but in the meantime, I had four egg yolks left over from that recipe test. The recipe called for 4 egg whites, and I saved the yolks to use in another recipe. I didn't know what that recipe would be though. Going through my library of cookbooks, I came across a recipe for individual chocolate souffle cakes. Similar to those lava cakes, with the warm, melted chocolate centers that ooze through the chocolaty warm cake. Chocolate lovers everywhere are drooling right now. Yes, this is the perfect recipe to try because it uses up my egg yolks, it uses 6 main ingredients, and it seems simple enough that maybe it would inspire someone to try. The most challenging part of this recipe uses a technique called tempering. Don't be put off by this. It is simply warming the cold ingredient, the eggs, and adding them to the hot mixture, the melted chocolate. This step is important because if you don't do it correctly you will have scrambled eggs in your chocolate. Yuck! The cake part of these mini souffles are chocolaty and dense, much like a flourless chocolate cake. The center was creamy, like a pudding. This recipe will make 6 to 8 small cakes, depending on the size of mold or ramekin you use. Take your time in preparing these little pots of chocolaty goodness and you will be successful.

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Hot Chocolate Cakes from the Neiman Marcus Cookbook

1 1/2 sticks butter
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or bittersweet morsels
1 tablespoon vanilla (original recipe calls for two tablespoons of Amaretto)
4 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Butter for preparing the molds or ramekins
Granulated sugar for preparing the molds or ramekins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour and the confectioners sugar and set aside. Butter your mold or ramekins. Sprinkle granulated sugar on the bottom and turn the mold coating to coat the bottom and sides with the sugar. Set on a baking sheet. Using a double boiler, or a heat proof glass bowl, or metal bowl, melt the butter and chocolate. Add the vanilla or Amaretto, if using. Remove from heat. Using a wire whisk, mix eggs. Temper the eggs by putting about a quarter of a cup of the melted chocolate in to the eggs and mix. Now, add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate, while whisking to combine. The mixture will become thick. Add the sifted flour mixture to the chocolate and stir combining the two well. Spoon the batter in to the molds, about half full. Bake until the sides come away from the mold, and the center looks glossy, but slightly firm. It will look a little like a brownie. You can serve in the molds, or remove them, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be nice on the side. Either way, they are so yummy!

Sift flour and confectioners sugar
Prepare molds or ramekins

Melt butter and chocolate

Melted chocolate with tempered eggs

Add flour mixture

Out of the oven

This one is out of mole and cooled

Cooled, dense chocolate inside

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