Molten Chocolate Oozy Cake, By Jen Sommerness
This recipe is one of my all-time favorites when I am entertaining. It can be baked immediately, or made up to a day ahead, kept in the fridge, and popped into the oven to bake right at the moment when you need it. It is an absolute show stopper of a dessert. As beautiful as it looks when plated, it is even more incredible when you cut into it to release the molten chocolate and take the first bite.
Typically, I make a mixed berry coulis to add a bit of color and a touch of sourness, as well as to gild the lily and take the dessert over the top. This combination has been known on every occasion to cause at least one adult in the group to lick their plate…I am not kidding...it happens every time.
You can easily make more or less depending on the number of people you wish to serve, which also makes it the perfect dessert for when you are entertaining.
The original recipe is credited to Joël Robuchon in Paris for the Valrhona Chocolate Company. My favorite chocolate is Valrhona, and I use it whenever possible. For this recipe, I love their Valrhona Grand Cru Dark Chocolate Caraibe 66%. I buy it in bulk, because it keeps for a long time if sealed in a plastic bag and kept in a dry place. I use it in my chocolate tart as well, so I always have some on hand. Any dark chocolate will do, but the better the chocolate, the better your results will be.
I like to butter individual brioche molds, and then sprinkle sugar in the buttered molds before pouring the batter into them. I find that they are easier to unmold after baking, and the sugar gives it a nice, crunchy texture that is otherwise absent from this dish. You can also use ramekins in the same way, but you will not achieve the star shape that is so pretty when plated.
For the Cakes:
11 ounces unsalted butter (2 ¾ sticks)
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs
6 large egg yolks
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter and 1/2 Cup sugar for molds
For the Wild Berry Coulis:
One small package of frozen mixed berries or 2 cups fresh mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)
3 Tablespoons apple juice or water
Simmer the berries and apple juice or water in a small sauce pan until berries soften and start to blend together, releasing their juices. Place the berry mixture into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Run the mixture through a fine meshed sieve to remove the seeds, and pour into a squeeze bottle. Allow to cool.
Make the Cakes:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Butter the tins or ramekins, coat them completely with a dusting of sugar, and set them aside.
In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and powdered sugar. Then whisk the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, until combined. Finally, whisk in the flour.
Fill the tins with the batter and bake them for 4 to 5 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate the cakes until ready to bake, up to a day in advance. If baking cold, do so for 5 to 6 minutes.)
You will know when the cakes are ready when they just barely look dry on top, with no noticeable wetness in the center of the cake. Keep your eye on them during the last minute or so, to make sure you don’t over-bake them.
Remove the cakes from the oven and turn them out onto a small plate. Drizzle the coulis around the cake and serve!