Jun 15, 2009

french fudge cakes

Molten Chocolate Cake has always seemed like one of those lofty desserts that only pastry chefs can accomplish. However, this recipe for French Fudge Cakes, adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper is a close substitute in my book.

If cooked just right these cakes come out of the oven warm and fragrant, and when cut in half just a bit of bittersweet chocolate melts onto the plate. Suddenly my dreams of fancy molten chocolate cake vanishes out the window before my fork reaches down for a second bite.

The cakes have a hint of cinnamon which reminds me slightly of Mexican Chocolate flavors. And I like how easy they are to pull together, taking only about 30 minutes total. They are very impressive as a dessert with a bit of ice cream or fresh whipped cream on the side.

Recipe for French Fudge Cakes
Adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper

1 3.5 or 4 oz bittersweet chocolate bar, broken up*
1 and 1/2 oz's unsweetened chocolate, broken up
5 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar**
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 half of another 3.5 or 4 oz bittersweet chocolate bar, cut into bite-sized pieces

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and butter a metal 6-cup cupcake or muffin tin. Combine the broken up bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate with the butter in a medium sized bowl. Microwave for 2-3 minutes or melt it in a double broiler, approximately 5-7 minutes.

While the chocolate and butter are melting, in another medium sized bowl whisk together the cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and yolk, sugar, and salt until creamy. Stir in the flour and blend well. Now stir in the chocolate/butter mixture until smooth. Finally mix in the bite-sized pieces of chocolate. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan, filling each three-quarters full.

Bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes. I would start checking these at 13 minutes depending on your oven. When checking insert a knife into the center of the cake, it should come out with streaks of chocolate. As a second check, press the top of the cake to make sure it is nearly firm. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm immediately. These can also be stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days...if they last that long.

Alison's Notes:

*I've used 4 oz Valrhona 71% Cacao bars each time I made these with much success. The original recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate with over 70% cacao mass, a bar that will give you more chocolate and less sugar than one with less cacao.
**Recently I've been playing around with vanilla sugar. So in this recipe for the additional 2 tablespoons of sugar I used vanilla sugar, which I think just increases the hints of vanilla flavor. To make vanilla sugar simply take a vanilla bean and place it in a jar of sugar. After a couple days the sugar will begin to take on the notes of vanilla flavor. Vanilla sugar is excellent for baking.

(photography by: alison clayshulte)


Steph Bond @ Bondville said...

This one is going straight to the next dinner party menu!

Alison said...

Love it - let me know how they turn out. I thought of you and our runs to Mitchell's for Mexican Chocolate ice cream when I first tasted these!