Thanks to everyone for their get-well wishes for my cat, Ingrid. The good news is--how do I put this delicately on a food blog?--she is not hopping off the bed every morning at 5:30 a.m., howling pitifully and then--er--losing the contents of her stomach on the bedroom carpet. Was that delicate enough? We'll know more about how she's reacting to the medication in the next couple of weeks.
Rejoining the Cake Slice bakers after a month off, I have to sing the praises of these little chocolate cakes. Admittedly, they were supposed to be molten chocolate cakes, but even with baking according to the letter of the instructions, there was no melting going on. Rather, I would describe these as little souffle cakes with a slightly brownie-like center. A list of their many fine qualities:
1. They don't contain any flour. This is the cake to make your friends who can't eat gluten. Or for Passover, which is coming up quicker than I care to think about.
2. You already have all the ingredients. A word on chocolate: this is not the place to use your fancy, expensive chocolate. My fellow Cake Slice bakers warned that the original all-bittersweet recipe was, well, just too bitter. I like dark chocolate better than anyone, but I heeded the warning and used a combination of semi-sweet Baker's chocolate and part of a big Hershey bar that for reasons that pass understanding has appeared in my pantry.
3. You can make the batter ahead. I made the batter and put it in the fridge for six hours before baking up the cakes. No problem, just bring the batter to room temperature before baking. It'll take you that long to preheat your oven anyway.
On top of that, the cakes were delicious, and not too sweet. I served them with a side of honey gelato, the recipe for which will appear later this week. Good vanilla ice cream would work just as well.
This recipe can be easily doubled; I cut it down because it was just for David and I. We ate the leftover cake the next morning and it was more brownie-like, but equally delicious.
Individual Warm Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1.5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1/16 tsp. salt (basically just a pinch)
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
Spray three six-ounce ramekins (or coffee cups, in my case) with baking spray with flour or butter them generously; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter over simmering water. When the mixture is completely melted, remove from the heat. Whisk in half the sugar, then the egg yolks.
In a small bowl, beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer. When the whites are foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until the whites are at the soft-peak stage. Then add the remaining sugar and beat the whites to stiff peaks.
Fold a third of the whites mixture into the chocolate until combined, then incorporate the rest of the whites bit by bit.
Makes three individual cakes.