March ended with unnecessary roughness. A miserably muddy soccer field. A single-point loss in overtime. A busted lip. Not mine, Jeff’s.
So much for going “out like a lamb.”
His bruises skipped blue and went directly to black and purple. So, we skipped the rest of the afternoon and went directly to evening. Closed the shades. Ordered dinner at 3:30 p.m. Wrapped up in a blanket on the couch and watched “John Adams.” Nothing like the bloody pox and a maritime amputation to put things in perspective.
And then there was the chocolate.
The night before, we’d made Dorie Greenspan’s Gooey Chocolate Cakes. Six ramekins brimming with lethal amounts of bittersweet chocolate, butter, and sugar. And the texture… even though they looked cracked and dried out from the oven, one light tap on the surface, and your finger would sink into the chocolate quicksand.
A much better way to go than the bloody pox.
The next day’s cakes were just as moist as the first. We popped the ramekins into the microwave and topped the bounty of molten chocolate with a scoop each of Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch. You know, to cut the sweet. The perfect way to end a woolly month.
Gooey Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 4 ounces coarsely chopped
- 1 ounce very finely chopped
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons of sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
- Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.
- Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl, and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted–you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogenous.
- Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes.
- Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, stir in the melted chocolate and butter.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.
- Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)
- Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.