I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to write about these warm little cakes, cakes so rich and simple they can be whipped up in 10 minutes flat. After a 13 minute bake, they’re done. If you’re a math whiz like me, you realize this means you’re only 21 minutes away from having this cake in your mouth.
That’s a pretty quick turnaround for a from-scratch dessert, especially one that tastes this good and makes six elegant, individual portions. Put it this way: you could eat a rigid square of chocolate from your stash, OR you could dribble a hot chocolate cake with cold heavy cream, grab a spoon, and think unclean thoughts while rewarding yourself for being a Very Good Person.
Those of you with Jewish proclivities will be pleased to know that this cake, which appears in a slightly different form in the new Williams-Sonoma cookbook Good Food to Share, has no flour. Thanks to author Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan's suggestion, I used almond meal and almond extract instead, yielding a dessert that's not only decadent but Passoveryish.
Best of all, I’m no longer racked with fear that my rabbi will somehow land on this site and come face-to-face with a giant meatball sub.
Chag Sameach. Or, Happy Easter if you roll that way. Or, happy day, night, dawn, twilight, spring, solstice, or moment.
Yes, happy moment, from me to you.
Recipe for Individual Soft Chocolate Almond Cakes
My thanks to Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, founder of Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn, for providing me with the soft chocolate mini cakes recipe from her new book, Good Food to Share (Williams-Sonoma, 2011). This version is a very close adaptation.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces, plus soft butter for greasing the ramekins
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch sea salt
1/4 cup almond meal
Cold heavy cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the lowest position. Butter six 1/2-cup ramekins.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed for 3 minutes, or until thickened. Shut the mixer. Gradually sprinkle the almond meal over the batter and beat on low speed until just until combined. Fold the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate/butter.
Divide the batter among the ramekins and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the tops are puffed and dry and a skewer inserted in the center comes out with barely moist streaky bits, 10 to 13 minutes. (Mine took 13 to set but was still puddinglike.)
Serve immediately, drizzled with cold heavy cream.