Friday, April 24, 2015

Opposites Attract: Individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes

Although I ultimately decided on this recipe to bring to cookbook club, the smitten kitchen cookbook's "tiny but intense chocolate cake" was a very close runner-up. It was everything the white chocolate pudding was not—deep, dark, rich, and unapologetically sinful. During the course of the cookbook club meeting, however, I learned that one of the other members had made that recipe to try at home. Not having the six-inch baking pan required, she very sensibly divided the batter into individual servings using a muffin tin, adjusting the baking time for the smaller size. She said it worked like a charm—and since I don't have that size pan, either, it definitely worked for me!

Grain-Free Individual Chocolate Cake

Individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes

6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup vanilla sugar (or use regular sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Berries for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard muffin tin with eight muffin liners, and fill each of the empty cavities with about 1/2 an inch of water. Set aside.

In a small pan, melt butter gently over low heat. Once melted, turn off heat and stir in chips until they are also melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until very creamy and pale. Add the cooled chocolate mixture carefully, stirring to combine. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and salt together until firm peaks form (I used a hand-crank beater, but feel free to use an electric mixer!). Stir in 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among the eight liners (about 3/4 full each) and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out fairly clean (there might be a few crumbs). Let cool for 10-15 minutes, or cool to room temperature and chill before serving.

Notes: Adapted from the smitten kitchen cookbook. The amount of sugar is reduced, and chocolate chips (instead of chopping a bar of chocolate) were used since that's what I had on hand. In the original recipe, the butter was not only melted, but browned as well. Even with my digressions, these are lovely little cakes, and pair perfectly with fresh berries—although I wouldn't say no to a scoop of ice cream :-)


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