Friday, December 28, 2007
Let’s ring in the New Year with some chocolate!
Bouchon is the French term for a type of restaurant found in the region of Lyon. These places are known for wonderfully rustic, robust, lusty meals prepared and presented in a simple and warm atmosphere. They are places where local wares and ingredients are shared at an open table in the best of the communal spirit. Bouchon is also the French word for “cork” and is perfectly applied to the little French chocolate cakes that are baked to resemble the shape of a cork. So it is fitting to celebrate New Year’s Eve by sharing a bouchon with those you love. Or those you want to love.
These cakes take just a few moments to mix and another few minutes to bake. They are cakey but also a bit fudgy, with a crunchy-chewy exterior – a sort of Frenchy brownie but not as rich or cloying. My recipe is decidedly not overly sweet in an effort to emphasize the glories of the main ingredient. If you love chocolate, this is your roadmap to a quick fix. Voila.
- While I usually favor Dutched cocoa by Valrhona, I’ve made this recipe with both Dutched and unDutched cocoa and both are great.
- I baked these bouchon in 2” cylindrical timbales, each holding about 1/3 C batter (or roughly 1 1/2 oz). They took about 24 minutes to bake. Adjust your baking time depending on your baking tins and the vagaries of your oven. You can use a mini-muffin tin if you have one of those. I’ve also seen mini-popover pans used and they make gorgeous bouchon. In any case, start checking your bouchon around the 15 minute-mark. An inserted toothpick should come out with a moist crumb. Nothing worse than dry cake and the difference between perfect cake and dry cake is less than 2 minutes. Keep checking every couple of minutes once you get to the 15-minute mark!
- These are best eaten the same day but can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days.
Makes 10 using 2" timbale molds
4 oz (1 stick) butter
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 eggs @ room temperature
3/4 C + 2 T sugar
heaping 1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/4 C cocoa powder
3/4 C flour
2/3 C chopped bittersweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2” timbale molds and place on a sheet pan.
Melt chocolate and butter over a water bath or bain marie and stir to blend.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and salt together and add vanilla. Add chocolate to egg mixture and stir until smooth.
Whisk together the flour and the cocoa and add to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until it is nearly blended. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until blended. Spoon batter into molds, filling them to the top.
Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, but start checking around the 15-minute mark, depending on the size of your baking tins. A toothpick inserted into the bouchon should come out with some moist crumbs. Cool briefly and remove from molds. And with that…..
Happy New Year!
2007 has been an incredible year for me. I’ve worked with people who inspire me in countless ways. I’ve enjoyed great humor, wisdom and lots of new ideas. I’ve joined causes that have lifted me up and introduced me to a whole new world that reinforces the strength and generosity of the human spirit. I have learned so much from every endeavor and encounter. I hope you also savor some great memories from the year’s many activities and moments of quiet pleasure. Let's now turn to a new year filled with a fresh excitement for everything life has to offer.
This blog is one way I share my passion and curiosity for the beauty of the culinary world. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. Special thanks to everyone who taste-tested countless bites and proved once again that good food is the universal language of the gods. And a very special note of appreciation to all who supported pastrystudio from its very inception. My deepest gratitude for your love, advice and encouragement.
Be it resolved to have only the most delicious morsels in your life!