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Chocolatier's Molten Chocolate Cake



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Molten Chocolate Cake
Chocolatier Archives

YIELD: 6 servings
PREPARATION: 1 hour plus freezing and baking times

Frozen chocolate:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate,
finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Chocolate cake:
Softened butter, for buttering
the ramekins
9 ounces semisweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sifted
all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter,
slightly softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar,
used in two separate measurements
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white,
separated (at room temperature)

Orange Cream:
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
4 teaspoons Grand Marnier (optional)

Confectioner's sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Make the frozen chocolate:
1. Put the chocolate in a 1-quart measuring cup with a pouring spout.
In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, heat the cream and corn
syrup, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture
comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let the
mixture stand for 30 seconds, to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk
until smooth. Stir in the Grand Marnier, vanilla and orange zest.
2. Cover an ice cube tray with a piece of plastic wrap. With your
fingers, press down on the plastic wrap to line six individual ice
cube cavities with plastic.
3. Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the six lined ice cube cavities,
filling each one to the brim. Reserve the remaining chocolate mixture
in a heatproof bowl to be used later as a sauce. Cover and refrigerate.
Cover the filled ice cube tray with plastic wrap. Freeze the ice cube
tray with the chocolate mixture for 3 to 4 hours, until frozen solid.
Keep the frozen chocolate in the freezer until ready to assemble
the dessert.

Make the chocolate cake:
4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees
F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of six 6-ounce ramekins.
Put the ramekins on a baking sheet.
5. Melt chocolate with the water and coffee. Gently whisk until smooth.
Let the chocolate mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until tepid.
6. In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour and salt
until thoroughly blended. Sift onto a piece of waxed paper.
7. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed,
beat the butter for 30 seconds until creamy. While continuing to beat,
gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar. Beat in the vanilla. One at a time,
add the egg yolks, beating well after each addition. Add the melted
chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Scrape down the side of the
bowl with a rubber spatula.
8. In a large grease-free bowl using a hand-held electric mixer and clean beaters, beat the egg whites at low speed until frothy. Gradually increase
the speed to high and beat the whites until soft peaks start to form. One
teaspoon at a time, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating the whites until stiff, shiny peaks form.
9. Fold one-third of the whites along with one-third of the flour mixture
into the batter. One-third at a time, gently fold in the remaining egg
whites and the flour.
10. Spoon half of the batter, filling each ramekin a little more than
half full.
11. Unwrap the frozen chocolate cubes. Nestle a frozen chocolate cube
in the center of each batter-filled ramekin. Spoon the remaining batter
over the tops of the frozen chocolate cubes, covering them completely.

12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the batter has risen about 1/2-inch
above the ramekin rims and the tops are slightly cracked. While the
cakes are baking, prepare the orange cream.

Prepare the orange cream:
13. In a chilled large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer or a wire
whisk, whip the cream, sugar, orange zest, and Grand Marnier until
the cream starts to thicken but is still pourable. Do not overwhip.
14. Gently reheat the leftover chocolate mixture over a pot of hot, not simmering, water. Keep the sauce warm.

One at time, carefully invert the warm cakes onto large dessert plates.
Lightly sift confectioners' sugar over the tops of cakes. Spoon some
of the orange cream around the base of each cake. Put some cocoa
powder in a sugar shaker. Lightly sprinkle cocoa powder over the
orange cream and around the plate borders. Garnish the top of each
cake with a small sprig of fresh mint. Serve immediately and pass
the warm chocolate sauce for those who want an extra dose
of chocolate.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Chocolate Decadence Cake (Chef Keegan)
Flourless Chocolate Cake (Elizabeth David)
Molten Chocolate (Thomas Keller)

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