This recipe was adapted from one by Nigella Lawson. Since I happent to be a personal chef, and can never leave well enough alone, II have adapted it over the years! The original called for superfine sugar, which I never have on hand. And I know I can make my own, by putting regular sugar into the food processor and processing it until it’s superfine; but really, that defeats the purpose of this recipe for me. I like it because it’s a super fast throw-together! So I made the change to regular sugar, and it’s just fine.
When my son was young, we had a busy household full of neighborhood kids more often than not. I used to double the recipe, and make these cakes in muffin tins. They can be stored in the freezer in Ziploc bags. I always had these chocolate cakes on hand! No wonder kids came over all the time!
The recipe is simple enough to throw together for kids, but it also makes a lovely impromptu dessert. These chocolate cakes can be elegant enough for a dinner party, if that is more your speed. If I am going the elegant dinner party route, I like to make them ahead of time (even a day ahead is fine!). If you put them in individual buttered ramekins, they can stay covered in your refrigerator until you are ready to bake them.
They are a cinch to make; you probably have the ingredients on hand! They have a short ingredient list: butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar, a tiny bit of flour. The recipe is below; give it a try! If you’re like me, it won’t be long until you can make these without having to look up the recipe. You won’t have to tell anyone it came from a personal chef!
Almost Flourless Individual Chocolate Cakes
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch of salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Special equipment: 4 (2/3 to 1-cup each) ramekins (If you don’t have ramekins, muffin tins wil work, but butter them liberally so the cakes won’t stick!)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the ramekins with 1 T butter.
2. Melt the 1 stick butter and chocolate in the microwave on 30% power, stirring every minute or so until it’s melted. (If you’d rather, you can melt it in a heatproof bowl in a big pot of simmering water.) Let it cook 5 minutes or so.
3. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand whisk, mix the eggs with the sugar. Add the chocolate/butter mixture, vanilla and salt. Mix until combined. Add the flour; do not overmix. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered ramekins.
4. Bake for about 13-15 minutes. (The outsides should be firming up, but the insides should still be nice and gooey.) Use tongs to place the ramekins on a plate and serve!