So again I find myself with a recipe that I want to shout about from the rooftops. I already ambushed my neighbor on her way to her car, now it’s viral time.
Hesser rightly points out that this dish became too popular for its own good in the 1990s. It started out on the A-list but quickly became over-exposed and, like our own erstwhile Governor, it just kept showing up long after people were even remotely interested in seeing it. As she says, when Domino’s pizza introduced their version in 2009, it was officially over. I guess the take away here is that when Rod Blogojevich shows up on a Domino’s commercial we’ll know our long national nightmare might finally be at an end.
But I think enough time has passed for this worthy dessert to make a strategic come-back. It’s too good to lose forever. It is such a brilliant combination of ridiculously easy and intensely delicious and, I swear, takes no longer than a decent salad to put together and bake. It’s in the oven for 12 minutes people — we can all do this. And bonus: it’s truly elegant and sophisticated. It’s stuff like this that makes people think you can cook. Trust me.
The ingredients are minimal: butter, bittersweet chocolate (I used my regular grocery store Ghirardelli), eggs, egg yolks, sugar and a tiny bit of flour. I defied the instructions and melted my butter and chocolate in the microwave vs. a double boiler. Sue me. I assembled everything and just waited until we were on our last bites of dinner to put the ramekins in the oven. Because time is of the essence: they bake for precisely 12 minutes after which the ramekins are inverted onto a plate where they rest for 10 seconds, then voila. The aroma when they’re released might actually make you weep a little.
I dusted mine with powdered sugar but there are any number of garnishes and acoutrements one could enlist here. Creme anglais comes to mind. Raspberry puree. Whipped cream. All of the above.
The one minor thing I might change next time is to add just a pinch of salt.
Warm Soft Chocolate Cake, by Jean-Georges Vongerichten with Mark Bittman, is on page 773 of The Essential New York Times Cookbook.
wow that looks amazing. I might just give it a whirl.
Me too. With whipped cream.
The night of the Millenium (remember THAT?) we ate at home. A grilled aged porterhouse, baked potatoes, creamed spinach, and this Jean Georges cake served with pistachio ice cream!
It is a great dessert – so chocolate-y with a wonderful texture.
Kate — Since the last time I checked (two days ago?), your link to the recipe no longer works. Is this the same recipe?
Also, did you use unsalted butter?
Hi Chris, thanks for pointing that out. I think it’s fixed now.
Yes, always unsalted butter.
Hey Kate, I just made these to celebrate the end of my annual February crash-diet. They were great. I tried making chocolate souffles a couple of times last year, and these were a hundred times easier and tasted better. My only problem was that they didn’t unmold nicely — the top halves came out, but the bottom halves had to be forced out. But we didn’t really care. (It was just a midnight snack for Mary and me. Don’t ask what she’s doing up at this hour.)
Two questions: You say they bake for 12 minutes, but the Times link says 6-7 minutes. I went with your advice, since they still looked like bowls of liquid at 7 minutes. Can you confirm that 12 is what the book says?
And some online versions of the recipe call for 2 Tbs of flour, while the Times link says 2 tsp. I went with 2 tsp. Does that sound right?
Hi Chris, glad you liked them!
Yes, the book does say cook for 12 minutes and calls for 2 TEASPOONS of flour. Did you butter and flour your ramekins (or whatever you cooked them in)? I’ve also seen recipes that have you butter and sugar the ramekins which sounds good too.
I can’t wait to have these again!
I can’t wait to make them again too. In fact, I think it will be tomorrow. I did the butter-and-flour thing, but I think I may have rushed the unmolding process (because I really wanted to eat the cake).