Moelleux au Chocolat (Molten Chocolate Cake)

Ingredients: Chocolate, Butter, Eggs, Sugar, Flour

I knew it was over the first time I took a bite of a molten chocolate cake.  I was somewhere in Paris, unfortunately I can't remember exactly where, but as soon as I got a spoonful on my tongue it was decided: this is the best dessert I've ever eaten, and it might just be the best dessert in the world.

It's not a very difficult concept to grasp:  cook the liquid mixture made up of sugar, chocolate, butter, flour, and eggs, until the outside is firm and the inside is still liquidy.  However simple this chemical process may be, I don't think I will ever get over the fascination of breaking the top of a moelleux au chocolat, and finding melted, oozing, delicious chocolate goo in the middle.  It's just heavenly, and relatively straightforward to make.

However, I had a slight setback.  I brought my electric mixer over from the states, only to discover that if one uses an american mixer in Europe, the speed increases about ten-fold.  Needless to say, my darling mixer couldn't handle this pressure, and it broke down, never to be heard from again.  In order to get the cake to rise (like a soufflé), the eggs need to be whipped, so that the air pockets inside them can expand in the oven.  Long story short, I had to whip the eggs by hand - it is totally doable, but you may get a severe hand cramp afterward.  If you have an electric mixer, I advise using it. 

Molten Chocolate Cake - serves 1

Moelleux au chocolat can be made up to 1 day in advance: prepare the recipe through step 3, and cover batter with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.  When ready to eat, bring to room temperature before proceeding with the remaining steps. 

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (25g) - try to find 65% chocolate
1 tablespoon (20 g) butter
1/2 of an egg (I'll tell you how to easily divide it in the recipe)
1 tablespoon  (20 g) sugar
1 teaspoon (4g) flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1.  Bring a small saucepean of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl (and one that is bigger than the rim of the saucepan), and place over the saucepan.  Gently stir until the butter and chocolate are combined.  Remove from heat.
4.  In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork until the yolk and white are fully combined.  Pour half of the mixture into another bowl.
3.  Add the sugar to one of the eggs bowls - discard the egg in the other bowl. Beat until a light, canary-yellow color has formed, and the mixture has tiny bubbles on the surface. (If using an electric hand-held mixer, this should take about 3-4 minutes on medium speed).

3.  Add the flour to the eggs and gently stir to combine.  Pour in the chocolate mixture and gently fold into the eggs and flour, until just combined.
4.  Butter a 6-oz. ramekin, using an upward vertical motion when greasing, to help the soufflé rise.  Pour in the mixture, and bake in the oven until the outside is firm and the center is still wobbly, about 12 minutes.
5.  Dig in!  This can be served with a dollop of whipped cream, creme fraiche, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


colleen said...


Ashley Fahr said...

i think the first time i had one was with you, at vin de bellechasse maybe!

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