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Categories: Best recipes, Desserts

Chocolate truffle cakes

Chocolate truffle cakes
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Chocolate remains among the most mystical of culinary delights, but too often home cooks avoid its pleasures because chocolate intimidates them. They think of the mysterious act of "tempering" chocolate or recall what happened when a drop of water found ... Read more

Active work time: 25 minutes | Total preparation time: 40 minutes plus 1 hour chilling | Serves 10
Note: This is almost more of a molten-centered chocolate souffle than a cake.The batter can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead of time and left at room temperature to be baked at the last minute. Or you can make it even more in advance, freeze it, then pop it straight into the oven. The baking time in that case will increase to 20 minutes. At the restaurant, this cake is made in three-inch ring molds set onto a baking sheet and then unmolded after baking. Since most home cooks don't have ring molds, in the Test Kitchen we used 1/2-cup (4-ounce) ramekins and then dusted the tops with powdered sugar after baking. They worked perfectly.

Ganache

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Step 1Grate the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Bring the whipping cream just to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Slowly stir until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a shallow glass dish and let it cool slightly, about 10 minutes, the place it in the freezer to chill, 1 hour.

Step 2Scoop out 10 balls using a 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon and shape them so they're round. Chill until ready to use.

Cake

  • 14 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water. Stir in the flour and remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Step 3Whip the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly add the sugar until the whisk leaves a thick ribbon that stays on top of the batter when it is lifted out, about 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate into the yolk-sugar mixture and gently fold them together.

Step 4Spray 10 (1/2-cup) ramekins with cooking spray. Half-fill each with chocolate batter, place 1 ganache ball in the center and then continue filling to the top with more batter. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. (The recipe can be made ahead to this point up to 1 hour in advance and stored at room temperature, or 1 week in advance and frozen, tightly covered.)

Step 5Bake the cakes until they begin to pull away from the sides of the ramekins, 13 to 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.

Each serving:
530 calories; 248 mg sodium; 287 mg cholesterol; 43 grams fat; 25 saturated fat; 38 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 2.69 grams fiber.
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