Individual Molten Chocolate Truffle Cakes

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Most restaurants today seem to have some version of a “molten” chocolate cake. So here’s one for you to wow family and friends with. This is a showy, elegant recipe that is really pretty easy. You don’t need to be an experienced baker or have “great hands” or a delicate touch; it just works. This recipe also has a dividend—the chocolate truffles, which can be served just as they are. You will need 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins in which to bake the cakes. Parchment paper is usually available in the supermarket alongside the waxed paper and aluminum foil.

Ingredients

For the Truffles

  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped very finely
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons liqueur of choice (Chambord, cassis, or framboise is nice if you’re going to garnish with raspberries or serve with a berry puree, but any flavor that goes with chocolate will work great)

For the Cake

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped very finely
  • 5 ounces ( sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Method

TO MAKE THE TRUFFLES: Combine the chocolate, cream, and butter in a small, heatproof bowl set over simmering water to gently warm. When the chocolate is almost melted (test by poking it), remove the bowl from the heat and stir the mixture until smooth. Stir in the liqueur and refrigerate the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it is thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 30 minutes.

Line a baking tray with waxed or parchment paper. Using 2 spoons, form 8 round truffles (alternatively, scrape the chocolate mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a #3 plain tip and pipe 8 truffles onto the prepared tray). Refrigerate until firm, at least 15 minutes. Can be made a day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator.

TO MAKE THE CAKE AND FINISH THE DESSERT: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut circles of parchment paper to fit inside eight 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins (they don’t have to fit exactly). Generously butter the cups and line the bottoms with the parchment rounds (see Note). Set aside.

In the top of a double boiler or in a small heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar on high speed until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Scrape in the chocolate mixture and, on low speed, beat just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer (or the mixer from the bowl, if you’re using a hand-held) and fold in the flour, using a rubber spatula. Spoon a little of the batter into each of the prepared cups, top with 1 truffle, and cover the truffle with the remaining batter.

Arrange the cups on a baking tray and bake until the edges of the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the cups, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto individual dessert plates and carefully peel off the parchment circle. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm, garnished with whipped cream, berries, and mint, if you like.

Garnish

If you like with whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and mint sprigs