Friday, January 2, 2009

Gooey, Chocolatey Goodness

So my Christmas desserts were a whole lot of FAIL with some NOT A SUCCESS sprinkled on top, right? (I used a new recipe for the most delicious-looking torte, and it turned out to be absolutely disgusting. I mean, seriously - it was awful.) And I have a reputation to think about, so New Year's was my chance to redeem myself. And boy, did I.

I used the recipe below. I've added in a few of my notes and observations, mostly because I think I'd like to do things a bit differently the next time I make these. They were good, but I think they can be even better, you know?

Hot Fudge Chocolate Cakes
From the December 2008 issue of Cooking Light


3/4 c flour
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa
5 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c granulated sugar
2/3 c brown sugar, packed
1 c egg substitute (or 4 eggs, if you prefer)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2.6 oz of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), finely chopped (note: I'd actually use coarsely chopped chocolate next time; it'd make the pockets of dark, gooey, melty YUM even better)
2 Tbs powdered sugar

1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Or, you know, just throw them all in a bowl together. GENTLY. Which is what I did. Because I don't hold with that sifting crap unless it's for a really good reason. These aren't a fancy cake or anything, so sifting can go suck it.
2. Place the butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute. (As we all know, I don't use a mixer most of the time. This was no exception. Mixing by hand was fine; it just took a couple minutes longer.) Add sugars, beating until well blended (about 5 mins). Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating until well blended. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture; fold in chocolate. Divide batter evenky among 10 4-ounce ramekins; arrange on a jelly-roll pan. (I used 8 ramekins, and everything turned out juuuust fine.) Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 4 days.
3. Preheat oven to 350*F.
4. Let ramekins stand at room temp. for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake at 350* for 21 minutes or until cakes are puffy and slightly crusty in top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; serve immediately. Makes 10 servings. Note: You can bake these for 3 minutes less for even more deliciously gooey cakes - and then serve them with ice cream or whipped cream on top.