Chef's Recipe

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Flourless Chocolate Cakes

With a touch of a fork, these cakes burst open to reveal their own molten sauce. The best part is they can be put together in advance and baked while you’re clearing the dishes from the main course.

Ingredients

Chocolate Cakes

  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 ½ ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 4 chocolate truffles (such as Lindt’s Lindor truffles), in your favorite flavor
  • Fresh berries, for serving (optional)
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


Preparation

Chocolate Cakes

  1. Heat the oven to 425°. Lightly butter four 6-ounce individual ramekins or custard cups. Dust the ramekins with flour (or rice flour, to avoid wheat flour completely); tilt to coat and tap out the excess. Separate the eggs and reserve 2 of the egg whites for another use. Set aside the yolks and 2 remaining egg whites.
  2. Place the chocolate, butter, and salt in the top of a double boiler over 1 inch of simmering (not boiling) water. Whisk until the chocolate is smooth and no small lumps remain. Remove the pan from the heat; let cool 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Beat until the mixture is thick and light, about 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and gently fold the two together.
  4. Place the 2 egg whites in a clean, grease-free mixing bowl. With clean beaters, beat on low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium and gradually add the remaining 1-tablespoon sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the whites hold stiff, but not dry, peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until well combined.
  5. Divide about one-quarter of the batter among each ramekin. Add a chocolate truffle to the center of each and cover with the remaining batter. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 4 hours ahead. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate them until 15 minutes before you plan to bake them.)
  6. Bake the cakes for 11 minutes, or until they are puffed but still soft in the center. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cakes cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the sides of the cakes to loosen tem. Place plates on top of the ramekins and invert the cakes onto the plates. Serve warm, with berries and whipped cream (if using).

 

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