Sunday, February 14, 2010
Happy Hallmark Holiday!
Individual Flourless Chocolate Cakes
(Adapted from Everyday Food)
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place four (6 to 8-ounce) ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet. Set aside.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in 2 tablespoons of the sugar, then stir in the egg yolks and vanilla. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer (or in the bowl of a standing mixer), beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Continue beating and gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy, about 3 minutes.
4. Using a rubber spatula, mix about 1/3 of the egg-white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg-white mixture just until combined. Divide among the bowls. (Cakes can be prepared in advance up to this point; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 day.)
5. Bake until the tops are puffed and cracked but the insides are still soft (a toothpick inserted in center will come out gooey), 20 to 25 minutes, or 25 to 30 minutes if the cakes were previously refrigerated. Serve warm or at room temperature (puddings will sink as they cool), topped with ice cream or whipped cream if desired. Makes four cakes.