This light, soufflé-like cake has a molten-chocolate center made of rich chocolate ganache. Ganache is very simple to make. Once melted and slightly cooled, it is often used to glaze cakes, pastries and cookies. Here, the ganache is shaped into small balls and pressed gently into the top of each cake just before baking. A regular muffin pan may be used instead of the heart baking pan.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and softened
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
- 1 Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 400ºF. Grease a 6-well heart baking pan and dust with cocoa powder.
- 2 In a heatproof bowl, combine 2 ounces of the chocolate and the cream. Set the bowl over but not touching simmering water in a small saucepan and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth and blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the ganache to a small bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
- 3 In another heatproof bowl, combine the remaining 4 ounces chocolate and the butter. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and melt, stirring constantly, until smooth and blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- 4 In a bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Using a handheld electric mixer or a balloon whisk, beat until thick ribbons fall from the beaters or whisk and the mixture is nearly triple in volume, 5 to 6 minutes.
- 5 Sift the flour over the bowl and gently fold until just blended. Add the chocolate mixture and gently fold together until smooth and blended. Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and form into 6 teaspoon-size balls. Place 1 ball on top of each cake and press gently.
- 6 Bake until the cakes pull away from the sides of the wells and the tops are just firm, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and transfer to individual dessert plates. Serve warm with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.