As a kid, I once played a game of softball with my summer day-camp classmates in which I was somehow responsible for a home run. It was a one-in-a-million chance, that I would hit that ball so dang far, that the bases would be loaded, and that the other team was incompetent enough to let us jog around the bases in lazy, glorious triumph. That day kind of confused me; afterward I believed that I had some special talent and that I should pursue a career in professional baseball. Baking these little cakes will make you feel the same way – they are so good, and people will be so impressed, and you will marvel that you had anything to do with it.
They’re remarkably simple to make. You warm a quantity of butter and some bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or the equivalent. You fold in a few eggs, a little sugar and flour, and you’re set. The resulting cakes are decadent the way a chocolate truffle is, all smooth butter and rich chocolate notes with nothing unnecessary getting in the way.
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKES
adapted from The New York Times
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, diced
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 Large Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1 tablespoon flour (I used brown rice flour, and it worked just fine)
handful of pistachios, roughly chopped
smoked Maldon salt or similar, to finish
4 four- or six-ounce ramekins
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Bring a pot of water to simmer on the stove. Place a glass bowl on top and add chocolate and butter. Allow this to melt, stirring frequently. While the chocolate and butter are melting, whisk together eggs, egg yolks and sugar until light and frothy.
Once chocolate and butter have melted, remove from heat and stir. Slowly fold in the eggs and sugar and then quickly beat in the flour until just combined.
Butter and flour four ramekins and pour chocolate mixture evenly into all of them.
Bake for 6-8 minutes (less time for a softer center, more time for a slightly firmer center). Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
Invert ramekins onto plate. Let them sit for about ten seconds, give each a gentle tap, then remove ramekin. Sprinkle with pistachios and coarse sea salt.