January 6, 2008
I had a few friends in for dessert today after a lunch at a restaurant. I decided to make one of those molten-chocolate cakes, and it was superb.
Here's how I did it:
I melted one Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate bar (4 oz.) with one stick of unsalted butter. While it was melting I buttered and floured four ramekins (custard cups would do) and I separated two eggs and mixed the yolks with 2 whole eggs, beating well. I added 1/4 cup of sugar to the eggs. Then I let the melted chocolate mixture cool slightly and added a dollop into the beaten eggs, beating hard to temper the eggs. Then I slowly added the rest of the chocolate, beating all the while. I added a pinch of salt, two teaspoons of flour, and about a half teaspoon of vanilla, mixing well.
I divided the mixture equally among the ramekins.
I met my friends at the restaurant, leaving the ramekins to set on the the kitchen counter until we go there. I could have chilled the mixture and left it for some time, bringing it to room temperature before baking, or I could have baked it right then if they were there and ready to eat. Since we were going to be a couple of hours, I decided just to leave them out.
When we got in, I preheated the oven to 450° and baked the puddings for about 7 minutes. This is the only tricky part: Too long and they'll just be cakes, and not long enough and they'll just be soup. Ideally they should be cakes with a soupy middle. I let them cool about 3 minutes and turned them out into dessert bowls, topping with about a teaspoon of vanilla ice cream. They weren't quite cakey enough, but nobody complained. We ate the pudding-cakes with spoons and there wasn't any left. They were as divinely chocolate as we could have hoped for.