One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.
Laurie Colwin

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fallen Chocolate Cakes

Adapted from Jean Georges - Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef by Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Fallen Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from Jean Georges - Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef by Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Serves 4

I always make this in 4-ounce Pyrex custard cups because they are so easy to invert, and I don't have any 4 ounce brioche molds, which I think you would need for fluted cakes.

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 once, and it worked well.)

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 (my favorite), coffee, ginger - you get the idea - whatever you like best with chocolate.

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