Friday, August 31, 2012

Fondant au chocolat

 
I've made this cake several times, but every time I make it, I have people chasing me for a bite. Ideally, the top is barely set and the inside is full of unbelievable gooeyness. It's beyond decadent, stops conversation and makes your brain freeze temporarily. It's the kind of dessert that can silence a party. 

The recipe I give you is my own, adapted from one off a box of corn starch in France. And yes, that means this is gluten free.

You'll need:

1/2 pound (225g) of unsweetened Callebaut (or other baking/confectioner's) chocolate (unsweetened, not dark!)
A stick and a half (180g) of unsalted butter
1 cup (180g) brown sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup (100g) cornstarch

extra butter and cornstarch for the baking tin

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and chocolate over medium to low heat.

In an ideal world, I would have chopped the chocolate before putting it in the pan but this isn't an ideal world. In an even idealer world, I might have used a double boiler.

When the butter and chocolate are just barely melted, take it off the heat (it will continue melting) and add the brown sugar. Stir until dissolved, then leave until it cools to almost room temperature.

Make sure the chocolate butter sugar mixture is lower than body temperature - the last thing you want to do, believe me, is make an omelette in this. Trust me, it's not tasty. I've done it.

Drop in the eggs, one by one, and stir well with a whisk until incorporated completely.

Add the corn starch and carefully mix until completely smooth. At this point, there should not be any significant bumps or graininess at all.

At this point, you can let the batter rest in the fridge for an hour or up to 2 days. For dinner parties I always make this a day in advance.

Here's the thing about what to bake it in: individual molds are best. Smear a muffin pan with butter and dust with cornstarch. You can also use cupcake (paper) liners, but paperless would be better, unless you are transporting them. The thicker the baking tin/pan/mold, the better - you want the heat to transmit slowly. Do not use just paper muffin cups - the cake will turn out dry and cooked through. Metal muffin pans are fine, but ceramic, such as ramekin dishes, are even better. And keep in mind that whatever you use, it must not be shallow - otherwise it will cook through in no time.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack, or until barely set. The middle of each cake will still be slightly wet and jiggly. Do NOT overcook. I usually start checking in on it after 12 minutes.


If you are taking these to someone's place, you can nuke them for a few seconds each in the microwave to revive the warm gooeyness.

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