Luscious Miniature Chocolate-Almond Cakes: A French Recipe
This is a recipe that has a great many allusions to chocolate lava cake, although the usage of almond flour gives it a smoother and nuttier taste (the particular process of cooking the butter also contributes to this flavor and texture). It is relatively simple and fast to make, and the end result is extremely decadent and gloriously chocolaty, with a rich chocolate component that is just slightly undercooked so that the cake has a liquid-chocolate core much like a cross between a pudding and a cake. Sprinkled with some powdered sugar on top, eating it is a heavenly experience. Also, while I didn't try it myself, consider possibly making orange or other various flavor versions with the addition of flavor extracts!
This recipe is adapted from Simply French by Patricia Wells, a quite good cookbook that has a variety of main courses, vegetable dishes, appetizers, salads, and desserts.
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 4 oz dark or semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup fine almond flour
- 4 egg whites, beaten
- 1 tablespoon honey
- First, melt the butter. Cut 8 tablespoons of butter (one stick of butter), into pieces, and put them in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook it for around 4 minutes, and the butter will transform into large frothy bubbles, a clear golden substance, and finally will start to turn brown and emit a nutty flavor. At this point, remove from heat and switch to another vessel such as a heatproof ceramic or a metal bowl.
- Use a small saucepan (such as the previously used one), and place the 4 oz of chocolate in it, finely chopped, and heat it through a double boiler method over high heat until the chocolate is mostly melted. At this stage, remove from heat and allow it to finish melting by the residual heat.
- Combine together the powdered (confectioner's) sugar, the flour, and the fine almond flour, and mix together. Add in the chocolate and combine it together. Add the browned butter and the honey. Then proceed to fold in the 4 beaten egg whites.
- If one plans to later remove the cakes from their ramekins or appropriate cooking vessels, grease them thoroughly with butter, butter and flour, or non-stick cooking spray. Otherwise, just distribute the batter into ramekins or other small cooking vessels, reasonably evenly. Cover, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool and firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then place the ramekins full of the chocolate batter into them for 20 minutes, enough time that it still leaves the center under-cooked but they are starting to be finished. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool, then consume. Powdered sugar is a great addition.
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