Sunday, March 27, 2011

Individual Fallen Chocolate Cakes for Two

My husband and I just celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary, and while our big celebration was a positively decadent and unforgettable meal at L'Etoile, the finest restaurant in Madison, I would be remiss if I had let the occasion pass without preparing a special meal myself as well. I served Berkshire pork chops from Willow Creek Farm with a salad of local greens and Snug Haven spinach topped with Hook's gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, finished the meal with these decadent chocolate cakes. I love both cooking and eating desserts, but can't make the variety I'd like because there's no way my husband and I could go through such an ample supply of sweets. I was absolutely thrilled to find this recipe because I could make a special dessert for two for just one night, and I'll be able to repeat it any night I choose because everything I need for these delectable cakes is always in my cabinets. My baseline baking chocolate is Ghiradelli, which is high-quality and not prohibitively expensive, but you may want to splurge for Scharffen Berger or another premium chocolate.

Keep this recipe in mind for the next time you're celebrating a special occasion or had a hard day at work and just to treat yourself a bit. The gooey, decadent center floods your mouth with deep chocolate flavor that continues into the dense, moist chocolate cake, turning any meal into an indulgent experience.

Individual Fallen Chocolate Cakes for Two
from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011
serves 2

Cocoa powder, for the ramekins
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
Confectioner' sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 6-ounce ramekins and dust with cocoa powder.

2. Combine the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until melted, 1 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the vanilla.

3. In a large bowl, whip the egg with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip the egg to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually whip in the granulate sugar and salt' continue to whip the egg until very thick and pale yellow, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

4. Scrape the whipped egg mixture on top of the chocolate mixture, then sift flour over the top. Gently fold the mixtures together with a large rubber spatula until just incorporated and no streaks remain.

5. Divide the batter between the prepared ramekins, smooth the tops, and wipe any drops of batter off the sides. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the cakes until they have puffed about 1/2 inch above the rims of the ramekins and jiggle slightly in the center when shaken very gently, 10 to 13 minutes.

6. Run a small knife around the edges of the cakes. Gently invert each ramekin onto an individual serving plate and let sit until the cake release themselves from the ramekins, about 1 minute. Remove the ramekins, dust the cakes with confectioners' sugar (if using), and serve immediately.


  1. This looks fantastic, I might have to make it tonight for no reason at all :)

  2. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!