Happy National Chocolate Day! We love chocolate in all its forms, from creamy mugs of milk chocolate to bittersweet dark chocolate truffles, but these molten little cakes are a special favorite. While not super sweet, these mini cakes have a deep chocolate flavor and are rich enough to share. The success of these cakes depends on two things: using the best-quality chocolate and not overcooking them. You want the centers to be almost runny. Serve them in the ramekins or unmolded and oozing slightly.
Soft Chocolate Mini Cakes
- 5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus more for greasing
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) all-purpose flour
- Whipped cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
1. Position a rack on the lowest level in an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Lightly butter six 1/2-cup (4–fl. oz./125-g) ramekins if serving in the ramekins. If unmolding to serve on plates, line the bottom of each ramekin with a parchment paper round.
2. Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over (not touching) simmering water in a saucepan. Heat until melted, then stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low. Gradually sprinkle the flour over the batter and continue beating just until combined. Using a spatula, fold the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture until combined.
4. Divide the batter among the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the tops are puffed and dry and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some soft batter clinging to it, about 10 minutes.
5. If unmolding onto individual plates, immediately grasp a ramekin with a pot holder or thick towel, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside edge to loosen the cake, invert onto the plate, peel off the parchment, and repeat with the remaining cakes. Serve the cakes hot, topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 6.
Couples will find inspiring ideas for everything from weeknight suppers to Saturday dinner parties in our Newlywed Cookbook.