Warm, Gooey Chocolate Cakes with Chocolate—Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

As a pastry chef, I see Americans’ obsession with chocolate up close. As diners spot chocolate desserts on the menu, their eyes light up, they get a slight smile at the corners of their mouths, and they grip the menu a little tighter, as if afraid someone might try to take it away from them before they can order that dessert. Every dessert menu should include at least one chocolate dish. Some of the selections can have chocolate as only one of several elements, but at least one should be 100 percent chocolate, rich and intense. When I first put this offering on the menu I worried that it might be too chocolaty. I then remembered that for chocolate-lovers, there is no such state.

Ingredients

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cups whole milk
  • 1⅔ cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Chocolate Cakes

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

Method

To Make the Ice Cream

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt. Combine the milk, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup sugar in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly whisk the milk and cream into the egg mixture. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula.

Strain the custard into a clean bowl and cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Put the chocolate in a bowl and put the bowl in the freezer. Churn the ice cream in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold the ice cream into the chocolate. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

To Make the Cakes

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and sugar the insides of six 4-ounce ramekins. Tap out the excess sugar.

Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a double boiler over hot water. Stir until combined. Sift the cake flour and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Stir in the salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined. Whisk in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Fill the pan with hot water to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully put the pan in the oven and bake until the cakes are no longer wet looking, are slightly firm when pressed on top, and just beginning to crack, about 35 minutes. Let the cakes cool slightly.

In Advance

The cakes can be made 1 day in advance. Store at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap.

To Serve

Serve the cakes warm, in the ramekins. If necessary, reheat in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 minutes. Top with a scoop of ice cream.

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