chocolate puddle cakes – smitten kitchen

As I mentioned above, you can put a spoonful of almost anything inside that you wish to merge with the molten center. Simply spoon in half the batter, add your filling in centered dollop, spoon the remaining batter on top. The sugar is a bit variable here. With a solidly bittersweet chocolate bar (70 to 72%), I like 1 tablespoon sugar, although 2 tablespoons is closer to the standard amount. With less bittersweet/more semisweet chocolate (60%), I often skip it. If you’re using salted butter, you can skip the additional salt, or just add a pinch of flakes for crunch. I bake these in two 6-ounce ramekins (I’ve had these forever, but there are many more options out there) but I bet two to three cups of a standard muffin/cupcake pan would work as well, or you could merge it all into a 10-ounce or about 5 inches across.
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for dishes
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt or a couple pinches of flaky salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (13 to 25 grams) granulated sugar (see Note)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter two 6-ounce ramekins or baking cups, making sure not to miss any spots. Spoon a little cocoa powder in each and pat it around so it coats the bottom and sides, then knock the excess out.

Place 4 tablespoons butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and — either in the microwave or set over a pot of gently simmering water — melt the butter and chocolate about two-thirds of the way, then whisk until it finishes melting. (This ensures it’s not too hot to add other ingredients.) Whisk in sugar and salt. Whisk in egg and yolk and beat a good 20 to 30 extra times, to ensure mixture is smooth, glossy, and a bit lightened.* Add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder and whisk until combined.

Divide between two baking dishes. Bake 7 to 9 minutes (7 will be the most molten in the center, 9 the least but still gooey) and transfer to a cooling rack for 1 minute. Wearing pot holders, place a small dessert plate over your first ramekin. Flip it onto the plate, count to ten, then lift the cup off. Repeat with second cake. Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Serve with barely sweetened whipped cream, a little ice cream, berries, or absolutely nothing at all. Eat immediately.

*Updated to note: This is really important! Don’t skip the extra 20 to 30 whisks around the bowl. For reference, this is how it looks when it’s not whisked enough (yes, been there, done that) and this (glossy and smooth) is how it looks when it is.

Do ahead: You can make the batter and fill the prepared cups, then refrigerate until you want to bake them. They can go into the oven directly from the fridge, but will need to bake 1 to 2 minutes longer.

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