Photo by Eugénie Martinez
I have had family from
visiting with us for the past few weeks, and I
occasionally relinquish my kitchen to them—always with good results, but this time my niece, Eugénie
produced an outstanding new dessert that will henceforth be among my staples.
The use of salted butter in making individual chocolate cakes and then the
sprinkling of Fleur de Sel de Guerande over them just before tasting is a
stroke of culinary genius. You may use an old cupcake pan or one of the new
multiple individual portion cake pans. The batter does not rise to a full
cupcake, but remains flat as shown in the picture. France
7 ounces dark chocolate (or semisweet), cut into pieces
8 ounces salted butter, cut into small pieces
Extra butter with which to grease the pan
8 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon flour, sifted
Fleur de Sel de Guerande (sea salt)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Coat the inside of a pan for multiple individual cakes (cup cake or muffin mold will do) with butter.
Melt chocolate over boiling water in a separate pot or a double boiler. As soon as it is melted, take it off the fire and mix in the butter, piece by piece, adding the sugar and vanilla until well mixed, thick and smooth.
Separate the eggs. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture. Add the flour. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the chocolate mixture.
Fill the buttered molds halfway with the mixture. Bake for 10–20 minutes. (The actual time required depends on the size of your cakes.) Leave the oven light on and check frequently to see the cakes form. Take out of the oven once the cakes seem solid on the outside.
These can be served hot and molten inside or allowed to cool. Serve with the Fleur de Sel de Guerande or any other coarse sea salt, allowing each person to sprinkle a few grains on his or her own dessert. The cakes, of course,go well with any type of ice cream—but espresso or coffee would be my favorite. If you enjoy these as much as I do, don’t thank me. Thank Eugénie