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Flaming cherries over individual chocolate cakes

Flaming cherries over individual chocolate cakes
Los Angeles Times

MAYBE it's the corks popping, or the televised countdown, or the anticipation of all those fireworks lighting up the skies as the year ends by increments all over the world. Whatever the reason, we seem to want something a little ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 6

Chocolate ganache cakes

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon to grease the ramekins
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (use Valhrona or Callebaut)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, in chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 (4-ounce) ramekins with the 1 tablespoon softened butter and dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a bowl over hot water, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat.

Step 2In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar until well combined. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift the cake flour over the mixture and fold in.

Step 3Divide the batter among the ramekins. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake an additional 4 to 6 minutes, until the edges look set and have pulled slightly away from sides but the centers are still slightly liquid. Do not overbake.

Step 4Invert the cakes onto plates immediately and serve with the cherries.

Cherries and assembly

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 cups water-packed canned or jarred cherries, drained
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier

Step 1Melt the butter in a medium saute pan. Add the sugar and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar melts and begins to turn color and caramelize, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the vanilla, zest and cherries and cook until reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

Step 2Remove from the heat, add the Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Ignite the cherries and pour over chocolate cakes either while still aflame or after the flame dies out.

Note: The cake recipe is from Marcus Samuelsson's cookbook "Aquavit." Gather and measure the ingredients for the cherries and the cakes before starting. Prepare the cake batter; begin cooking the cherries when the cakes go into the oven.


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