May 10, 2009

Chocolate Soft Center Cakes

In celebration of my dad turning "28," I made these yummy chocolate cakes instead of the typical rum cake. I first had this cake in San Francisco last year, when my sister's friend, Deepa, made this for dinner. Now, she was a character - she had no desire to eat this delicious dessert but rather preferred to just bake it for others. I obviously couldn't relate =). Anyways, this dessert is incredibly easy and so good warm with cold ice cream.
I've had this several time using different types of chocolate and I think Ghiradelli chocolate makes a big difference. I've used less percentage cacao chocolate and also Nestle semisweet chocolate. They just don't stack up to the silkiness and flavor of Ghiradelli. I'm sure other chocolate may be better but based on cost/flavor/quality, I'm sticking with Ghiradelli.
What I love about this recipe is its "easy" factor. Four basic steps. Melt chocolate/butter. Dump rest of ingredients into mixer and let it go for 10 minutes. Combine and pour into ramekin. Bake. Eat (step 5!) I didn't have any ice cream and with it being so late, going to the store was not an option. Rummaged through pantry and decided to make a quick whipping cream topping. Added in a some additional flavor with almond extract but the secret ingredient - nutella! Oh, how I dearly love you Nutella. You complete everything.
Individual Soft Center Cakes
4 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar (I prefer Ghiradelli dark chocolate)
1 stick unsalted butter
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup supar
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 tbpn cake flour

Melt butter and chocolate in a double boilder. Whip eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla with a mixer for about 10 minutes on high speed. Fold melted chocolate/butter into the egg mixture. (I folded the chocolate in three portions) Fold in flour until just combined. Butter and sugar four 6 oz ramekins then spoon mixture into ramekins.

Bake 450 degrees for about 9-10 minutes. (Mine took a little longer - around 12 minutes). The center will be quite soft, but the top and sides will be set. Let sit out of the oven for about 5 minutes then unmold onto a plate. (I served cake in the ramekin)

Cream topping:
1/3 cup whipping cream
3 tbpn powdered sugar
1 tspn almond extract
Nutella (um, however much you want...=)

Whip cream in a cold bowl. Should take just a few minutes. Fold in the powdered sugar and almond extract. Melt a little nuttella in microwave for 10 seconds. Fold into the cream. Put in fridge to keep cool until ready to serve.

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