Plunge a spoon into one of these warm, gooey cakes and you’ll find chocolate bliss. This recipe from Williams-Sonoma is incredibly versatile, too. Dress the cakes up with scoops of chocolate or vanilla ice cream, or top with sliced poached pears or blood orange segments and a dollop of crème fraîche.
- 250g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 60g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted
- 3 large egg whites
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly butter six 3/4-cup ramekins and dust with cocoa. Set the ramekins on a small baking tray.
Place the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over (not touching) barely simmering water, and melt, whisking until the mixture is glossy and smooth. Remove from over the water and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer, beat together the egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the cocoa on medium-high speed until thick. Add the chocolate mixture to the yolk mixture and beat until blended. The mixture will be very thick.
In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until very foamy and thick. Sprinkle in the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and increase the speed to high. Continue beating until firm, glossy peaks form. Spoon half of the beaten whites onto the chocolate mixture and stir in until just blended. Gently fold in the remaining whites. Spoon into the prepared ramekins.
Bake the cakes for about 13 minutes until they are puffed and the tops are cracked. Note, the inside of the cracks will look very wet. Remove from the oven and serve topped with a scoop of ice-cream or a dollop of crème fraîche and poached pears. Or, run a small knife around the inside of each ramekin and invert the cakes onto plates.
–Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s Dessert of the Day by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2013).