09 February, 2008

Molten Chocolate Cinnamon Cakes

(recipe from Cook's Illustrated, The Best Recipe)
These can be made with our without the cinnamon, add a pinch of chili pepper for a bold flavor.. it will really bring out the sensuality of the chocolate ~ 2 large pinches to 1/4 teaspoon pasilla or ancho dried chile pepper powder (or a combination)

8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter and flour 8 small ramekins or custard cups. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water, instead using the steam to gently and indirectly heat the chocolate. Stir the chocolate occasionally for even melting. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until mixture lightens in color and triples in size, about 7-8 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate and the flour (and cinnamon) to the egg mixture and gently fold together without deflating the eggs too much. The batter will be foamy.

Ladle the batter equally into the 8 ramekins. Bake for 12 minutes, until the outside is set and the center is still jiggly. Loosen the cakes by running a knife around the edge and invert it on a plate. Let cool 30 seconds – 1 minute and lift off the ramekin. Serve immediately with whipped cream, ice cream, or a strained fruit puree. Serves 8.

These can be made the day before, refrigerated and baked the next day with decent results, although the same day is preferable.