Dorie Greenspan and some Chocolate

I have been dying to cook from a cookbook. I’ve been dying to get butter stains and chocolate stains on my pristine white bake-books. Finally, the opportunity arrived in the form of 3 hungry friends and a lazy brunch. It also came with a list of dessert do’s and don’ts – no loaves, no cakes, no cheesecakes. Right on cue, to save me from further dilemma, my brand new shipment arrived – the Dorie Greenspan book! I spent the entire day thumbing through it and finally zeroed down on the Gooey Chocolate Cake.  I love the kinda foods that are superbly easy to make but high on the show-off  and appreciation scale so this one definitely lived up to its title and lineage! I did find some variation in baking time and temperature, so if you’re oven is anything like mine – I’d suggest amping up the temperature and increasing expected bake time.

What I really, really love about this no fuss, no frills cake is that its quite sturdy – a little overmixing or a little overheating wont covert it into bird food. Its also individualistic, just how molten do you like your chocolate? I urge you to use the best kind of chocolate, or the one you love to eat anyway, for this kind of cake because its essentially all you taste. If you’re a newbie to baking, I definitely suggest this as your first project.

Also, like all good hostesses I was prepared for more guests than I actually invited so instead of individual ramekins, I just put the entire cake in an oven safe glass dish when more guests showed up for dessert. Lastly, a good quality vanilla flavored ice cream or coffee helps.

Gooey Chocolate Cake
Adapted from: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours
Yields: 4 to 6 (depending on the size of your ramekins)

1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons best quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, if you’re using unsalted butter
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
5 ounces (a little more than 1/2 a cup) best quality chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 1 ounce finely chopped or alternatively, 5 ounces chocolate chips/callets

  1. If you are planning to serve them immediately, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter/spray the serving dish and dust the insides with some flour. Gently tap out the excess flour and set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt (if using).
  3. In a microwave safe dish (or a double boiler – whatever you prefer), add butter and chocolate. If using the microwave, heat chocolate and butter in 10 second spurts, stirring chocolate and butter frequently. Stop when butter is melted and stir the mixture. If using the double boiler, add butter and chocolate in a heat proof dish set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir occasionally and stop when the butter has melted. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix eggs and yolk together. Add the sugar and whisk till blended. Add the dry ingredients and gently stir them into the egg mixture.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and butter in a steady stream and whisk into the dry ingredients. Pour mixture into ramekins and bake for about 10 minutes. Check to see doneness. What you are looking for is a cake like formation on top but there’s still a little jiggle to touch. There is no surefire way to test doneness – just go with whatever texture you usually expect from your molten cakes. Serve immediately with a dust of icing sugar. 

Picture Update: 19th October 2011


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