Here is another superb chocolate dessert that will trump almost any restaurant dessert for Valentineâ€™sâ€¦ itâ€™s a really simple recipe by Thomas Keller for Bouchons au Chocolat. Literally translated as â€œCorksâ€ of chocolate, these are warm and utterly luscious. They call for narrower, tall muffin like baking molds but I just used a regular muffin like moldâ€¦ Served straight out of the oven, and packed with melted chocolate, they are a sophisticated version of those American chain restaurant lava cakes. To make, you will need 10-12 molds about 2.5-3.0 inches wide. Butter the molds and dust with flour, removing extra flour. Next sift Â¾ cup all purpose flour, 1 cup of unsweetened good quality cocoa powder (I used Valrhona) and 1 teaspoon salt into a bowl. In the bowl of your electric mixer, mix together 3 large eggs and just under a cup of granulated white sugar until very pale in color, roughly 3 minutes. Add Â½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 8 tablespoons of melted butter, the dry ingredients, more butter, etc. until all mixed in. You will use a total of 24 tablespoons of melted butter. Add6 ounces of semisweet chocolate, but I added 8 ounces of Callebaut 60% baking chocolate.
Spoon the batter into the molds or fill a pastry bag and pipe it neatly into the molds until about 2/3 full. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Take the bouchons out when a toothpick stuck into it brings out just a little batter, do not overcook. Cool the bouchons for 5-10 minutes and invert the molds onto your dessert plates. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve either with heavy cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. They were warm, the melted chocolate intense and flavorful and they just seemed like so much more work than it really took to make them. The key? Good chocolate and cocoa, and donâ€™t even think of scrimping on the butter. These are best eaten soon after coming out of the oven. That wasnâ€™t really a problem, there were absolutely no leftovers when I made and served this recipeâ€¦