Adapted from Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef by Jean-Georges Vongerichten
The night of the Millenium I made an opulent dinner for two: escargots bourguignon, prime aged porterhouse steak grilled rare, baked potatoes, creamed spinach, and chocolate cakes with Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Ice Cream for dessert. The wine I served was a rosé champagne, which I was assured was the house champagne Alice Waters poured at Chez Panisse that year. I don’t know if that was true, but I do know I wanted to lick my glass (difficult with a champagne flute unless you’re an anteater) and wished I had two bottles, one apiece.
This is the recipe for dessert I used, and it is the original little warm runny cake made famous by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I always make it in 4-ounce Pyrex custard cups because they are so easy to invert; however, pictures often show them in a fluted shape, and someday I shall look for fluted molds and try them. You will find this easy to make and wonderful served with whatever ice cream strikes your fancy as a delicious companion to chocolate.
½ cup (1 stick) butter, plus some for buttering the molds
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, Jean-Georges recommends Valrhona (but does not specify which one)
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour
cocoa powder for dusting the molds
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick.
In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. (Alternatively, do this step in a microwave.) While the chocolate and butter mixture is still a little warm, pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.
Butter and lightly cocoa powder four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. (I use Pyrex custard cups.) Tap out the excess cocoa powder, then butter and cocoa powder the molds again. Divide the batter among the molds. (The original recipe said at this point you can refrigerate the cups with the batter in them until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours as long as you bring them back to room temperature before baking. I actually did this one, and it worked!)
Set the cups filled with batter on a tray, put the tray in the preheated oven, and bake for 6 to 7 minutes. The center will be quite soft, but the sides will be set. Invert each mold onto its own plate, and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the cup; the cake will fall out onto the plate.
Serve immediately with the ice cream flavor of your choice, vanilla, pistachio, coffee, ginger - you get the idea - whatever you like best with chocolate.