Mini Flourless Chocolate Cakes
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 tablespoons, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons amaretto
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Raspberry Coulis, recipe follows
- Confectioners' sugar, for decorating
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
- Raspberry Coulis:
- 2 cups raspberries (about 12 ounces), rinsed
- 3/4 cup Simple Syrup, recipe follows
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Simple Syrup:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Using 2 tablespoons of the softened butter, grease 6 (1/2 cup) ramekins. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the sugar into each ramekin and shake to coat the bottom and sides of each, evenly. Place the ramekins in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a simmer.
Combine the chocolate, remaining butter and amaretto in a metal bowl set over simmering water or in the top of a double boiler. Melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes; reserve.
Meanwhile, combine the eggs, remaining sugar, the vanilla and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy and almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Fold 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Repeat this process 2 more times-until all of the egg mixture has been folded into the chocolate.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared ramekins and add enough water to the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of each ramekin. Bake until the cakes have risen slightly and the edges are just beginning to set, about 20 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and cool slightly. Use a dull knife or butter knife to gently loosen the cakes from the edges of the ramekin. Invert each cake onto a plate and invert the cakes again (so that the tops face upwards) onto a baking sheet or serving tray. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Spoon Raspberry Coulis onto individual dessert plates and carefully transfer the cakes to each plate. Garnish with confectioners' sugar, fresh raspberries, toasted almonds and fresh mint.Raspberry Coulis:
Bring the raspberries, syrup, and lemon juice to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the cornstarch over 2 teaspoons cold water and stir to dissolve. Pour into the simmering raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
Strain through a fine-mesh wire sieve into a medium bowl; discard the seeds. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Freeze any leftover coulis in a plastic container for up to 1 month.)
Yield: 2 cupsSimple Syrup:
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into a container and refrigerate until completely cold, about 45 minutes. (The syrup can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
Yield: about 1/2 cup