Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wicked Molten Chocolate Cake

A spicy homage to the "Wicked Hot Chocolate" down at Jacques Torres. I first made this cake for Bill's birthday in '06, inadvertently creating the first of a number of "exceptional food moments" that made him consider that he might oughta wanta marry me. This is one sexy little dessert: explosive, dramatic, toe-curlingly good.
(Photo by Pornchai Mittongtare)

3 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch of allspice
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Additional powdered sugar
Vanilla ice cream for serving

Generously butter 2 3/4-cup soufflé dishes. Stir chocolate, butter, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and white pepper in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk eggs and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Whisk in 1/3 cup powdered sugar, then chocolate mixture, then flour. Transfer batter to prepared dishes, filling to top and dividing equally. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake cakes until batter has risen above dish, top edges are dark brown, and centers are still soft and runny, about 15-17 minutes, or about 18-20 minutes for refrigerated batter. Run small knife around cakes to loosen. Allow cakes to rest in dishes 5 minutes. Using hot pad and holding dish very firmly, place plate gently atop 1 cake and invert onto plate. Repeat with remaining cakes. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Yield: two cakes. Each cake serves two.

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