I love all things savory and don't have much of a sweet tooth. Except when it comes to chocolate. And by chocolate I mean dark, bittersweet chocolate.
One of my favorite desserts is flourless chocolate cake, delicately flavored with Grand Marnier. It is dense, rich, and intensely chocolately- a dessert made for true lovers of chocolate.
When I first made flourless chocolate cake about 5 years ago, I used a 10" diameter cake pan. To serve, I dusted slices with powdered sugar, garnished with fresh mint, and spooned sweet, tart raspberry coulis on the side- a perfect accompaniment to the intensely chocolate cake.
As incredibly wonderful as this cake was, it served 16 slices and it became too difficult to ignore the leftover pieces stashed in the fridge the day after a dinner party.
Then I discovered these ramekins at Crate and Barrel. They are so wonderful (and inexpensive), you will want a dozen.
Now, I make mini flourless chocolate cakes in ramekins. The presentation is even more stunning and the dessert never ceases to impress at a dinner party.
This recipe creates 6 mini flourless chocolate cakes. I add Grand Marnier to the batter, but you can add espresso or another liquor (like amaretto) if you prefer.
I recommend using a 60-70% bittersweet chocolate, such as the Valrhona Le Noir 61% bittersweet chocolate bar. It comes in an 8.8 oz bar, but the recipe calls for 8 oz. That just means you get to treat yourself to a square or two of delicious chocolate while you bake!8 oz bittersweet chocolate bar, preferably Valrhona 61%
Mini flourless chocolate cake
Image from Amazon
Mini flourless chocolate cake
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or espresso or another liquor)
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), cut into small squares at room temperature
1 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325. Melt 1 tbsp butter. Brush bottom and sides of 6 ramekins with melted butter. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of sugar into ramekin, turning to coat sides and bottom.
In a small saucepan, combine Grand Marnier, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Stir until completely dissolved. Set aside.
Fill a small saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a simmer and keep on low heat. Break chocolate bar into squares and place in a medium bowl. Place bowl over pot of simmering water. Do not let the water boil and be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Or use a double boiler.
Melt chocolate until smooth and creamy, stirring frequently. Remove bowl from heat.
Transfer chocolate to a medium mixing bowl. Slowly beat in butter one piece at a time until absorbed. Mix in grand mariner, sugar, and salt syrup. Slowly beat in one egg at a time. The batter should be smooth and creamy.
Pour batter into ramekins, divide evenly across prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in large roasting pan. Add enough water to the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of each ramekin. Bake about 20 minutes, until the cakes have risen slightly and the edges are just beginning to set.
Remove from oven, remove ramekins from dish and cool slightly. Use a butter knife to gently loosen the cake from the edges of the ramekin.
Invert each cake onto a plate and invert the cake again onto a baking sheet so that the tops face upwards. Cool to room temperature. Cover baking sheet loosely with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Thirty minutes before serving, remove the baking sheet from refrigerator. Gently remove each cake using a spatula and place on dessert plate. Dust with powdered sugar, spoon raspberry coulis on side, and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Fresh raspberries are a nice garnish too.
6 oz raspberry, rinsed
1/8 cup Grand Marnier
1/8 cup sugar
3/4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine Grand Marnier and sugar until dissolved over medium heat. Set aside. In a food processor, puree the raspberries until smooth.
Strain seeds using a fine sieve. In another saucepan, simmer raspberry sauce. Stir in Grand Marnier-sugar syrup and lemon juice, and simmer until sauce has thickened. If necessary, add 1/4 tbsp of cornstarch sprinkled over 1 tsp of water to the sauce to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.