Gooey Chocolate Cakes

P1010960 small

This is one of those wonderful recipes that taste just as delicious whether gluten free or not.  The cakes have an intense chocolate flavor and are warm and gooey inside.  They’re so rich that you have to pair them with ice cream or whipped cream.

 

Gooey Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 6 cakes

  • 1/3 cup gluten-free OR 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)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400ºF.  Generously butter (or spray – it’s easier) 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.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt together.
  3. 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.  (Alternatively, you can very carefully heat the chocolate and butter directly in a small non-stick pot over very low heat, stirring constantly.)
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and yolk until homogenous.
  5. Add sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs.
  7. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.
  9. Bake the cakes for 13 minutes if gluten free, OR 12-13 minutes if not.  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.)
  10. 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 spatual to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.  Serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream.
  11. Store leftover cakes in an airtight container at room temperature.  The next day, warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds to restore the gooeyness.
Advertisements

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

IMG_5761

I really like this frosting because it’s both chocolate-y and tangy.  Since it’s a thicker frosting, I’d pair it with a denser cake (which is perfect for gluten-free cakes…).

Original recipe

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from All Recipes

  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk (you can add 1 more tablespoon if necessary)
  • 1-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Still on medium speed, beat in 3 tablespoons milk, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cocoa until frosting is creamy and spreadable.  Beat in extra milk and/or confectioners’ sugar if necessary to get a spreadable consistency.

 

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

P1000052 small

If you’re searching for a light, fluffy, gluten-free chocolate cake, look no further!  Since whipped egg whites provide the structure for the cake, the lack of gluten is not noticeable.  I can barely taste a difference from chocolate chiffon cake made with cake flour.  If you want to get a little fancy, you can crumble a couple almond crackle cookies and sprinkle the bits over the top of the cake.

Baking Notes:

  • Separate the eggs when cold, then allow the whites to come to room temperature before beating them.
  • The gluten-free cake dries out fast compared to regular cake, so frost it as soon as it cools to seal in moisture.  Then store it in an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Inspired by Taste of Home

Yield: Two-layer 8″ cake

For the cake:

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3/4 cup+2 tablespoons gluten-free OR cake flour
  • 3/4 cup+2 tablespoons sugar (divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the whipped cream frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup marmalade

 

  1. After separating, let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together cocoa and water until smooth.  Cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside an 8″ round baking pan with 3″ sides.  If using gluten-free flour, line it with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, and vanilla.
  6. Add egg yolk mixture and cocoa mixture to dry ingredients.  Beat or stir vigorously until well blended.
  7. In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until they form soft peaks.
  8. Gradually add 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  9. Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
  10. Add the remaining egg whites in 3 additions.  Gently fold into the batter using a large wire whisk, making sure to scrape down the bottom of the bowl frequently.
  11. Gently scrape batter into pan and gently smooth top with a rubber spatula.
  12. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes without opening the oven door during this time. Increase heat to 350°F and bake an additional 15 minutes.  The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or when the surface springs back immediately after pressing on it with a finger.
  13. As soon as you remove cakes from oven, lay 2 thick wooden spoon handles (or chopsticks) across the top of each pan and place a shallow bowl upside down on top of the handles/chopsticks.  Invert each arrangement and cool cakes completely upside down.  This step is important, because otherwise the cakes will sink.  It looks like this:
    IMG_5434
  14. Unmold cake carefully, because it is fragile, and slice in half horizontally.
  15. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
  16. Scoop about 1 1/2 cups frosting into a small bowl, and fold in 1/3 cup marmalade to make the filling.
  17. Place one cake layer cut side down on a serving plate and spread with the filling.  Top with the second layer cut side up.
  18. Frost first the sides and then the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
  19. Refrigerate the cake in an airtight container if you’re not serving it immediately.

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

IMG_5164

My friends and I loved this flourless chocolate cake.  It’s very rich and intensely chocolate-y.

Original recipe

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake
From Epicurious

Yield: 8″ cake

  • 4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus additional for sprinkling if desired)

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375°F.  Butter an 8-inch round baking pan.  Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.  Make sure the paper sticks completely to the buttered pan and lies flat, or it will make an indentation in the cake.
  2. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. (Alternatively, melt chocolate with butter in a small non-stick pot over very low heat, stirring constantly.  Be careful not to burn the chocolate.)
  3. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.
  4. Add eggs and whisk well.
  5. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust.  Don’t worry if the cake is domed when it comes out of the oven, because it will flatten as it cools.
  7. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
  8. Dust cake with additional cocoa powder, if desired.
  9. The cake can be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

Fudge

IMG_5181

Dubbed “absurdly easy chocolate fudge” by the New York Times, this recipe lives up to its name.  You toss practically all of the ingredients into one bowl or pot and melt them together.  Then you pour the mixture into a pan and refrigerate it.  Voila, fudge!

Original recipe

 

Fudge
From New York Times

Yield: 16 two-inch squares

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

 

  1. Grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Line with parchment or wax paper, letting edges of paper hang over sides of pan.
  2. In top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over (not resting in) simmering water, combine butter, chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and salt, if using.  Mix just until melted and well combined.  Alternatively, use a microwave on low power to melt ingredients, stopping every 10 to 20 seconds to mix well.  (I actually heated everything in a small non-stick pot over very low heat on the stove.  You have to be careful to stir constantly and make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn if you do this.)  The mixture should be heated as little as possible.
  3. Stir in nuts, if using.
  4. Scrape mixture into prepared pan.  Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Lift fudge on paper out of pan and use a large knife to cut into squares.

Chocolate Truffles

IMG_5171

You can never have too much chocolate, so here is a simple, tasty recipe for making your own truffles.  I tried out three coating ingredients, cocoa powder (top two rows in photo), cinnamon sugar (third row), and powdered sugar (bottom row), and decided that the cocoa powder works best.  It coats the chocolate ganache the most evenly and easily, unlike powdered sugar, which tends to clump.  The cinnamon sugar adds an interesting kick to the truffles, but if the ganache is too soft, it will keep getting absorbed into the chocolate as you shape the truffles.

Original recipe

 

Chocolate Truffles
From The New York Times

Yield: 24 truffles

  • 7/8 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely (otherwise it won’t dissolve completely in the heavy cream)
  • Coating ingredient(s): unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon sugar, and/or powdered sugar for coating truffles (about 1 heaping spoonful of each)

 

  1. Heat cream in a pot until it steams.
  2. Put chocolate in a bowl, pour hot cream on top, and stir until chocolate is melted and incorporated into cream.  (This is the ganache.)
  3. Cover bowl of ganache and chill in refrigerator until solid all the way through, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Prepare desired coating ingredient(s), placing each in its own small bowl.
  5. Using a chilled melon baller or latex gloves to prevent the ganache from melting or sticking to your hands, scoop out about a tablespoonful and drop it into a bowl of coating ingredient.  (I didn’t have either, so I just resigned myself to sticky hands.)
  6. Sprinkle coating ingredient over ganache and quickly roll it into a ball with your fingertips.
  7. Repeat, lining truffles on a plate or a baking sheet.  If truffles become too soft to handle, place them in refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.
  8. Serve immediately or store, wrapped in plastic, in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

img_4780

These cookies combine three different forms of chocolate and have a deliciously soft texture.  The gluten-free version have great structural integrity and don’t spread out very much when baking.

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Wolfgang Puck

Yield: 30 cookies gluten free, 24 with regular flour

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4-1 cup light brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want the cookies)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2-2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

 

  1. With an electric mixer on medium speed, soften butter.
  2. Add brown sugar and beat together on high speed until fluffy.  Stop machine to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  3. Decrease speed to medium and beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Stop machine, scrape in melted chocolate, and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
  5. Beat in cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. On low speed, gradually beat in flour.  (If using all-purpose flour, beat just until combined.  Luckily, over-beating is not a worry for gluten-free flour.)
  7. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  8. Position racks to divide oven into thirds and preheat to 350ºF.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  9. Shape dough into 2-tablespoon balls and space them 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  10. Bake about 15 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch, reversing the trays front to back and top to bottom halfway through.
  11. If making gluten-free cookies, leave them on the sheets for a few minutes after they come out of the oven so they harden a little more.
  12. Cool cookies on wire rack.