14 Feb2007


Here is another superb chocolate dessert that will trump almost any restaurant dessert for Valentine’s… it’s a really simple recipe by Thomas Keller for Bouchons au Chocolat. Literally translated as “Corks” 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 mold… 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 ¾ 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 ½ 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. bouchon2 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 don’t even think of scrimping on the butter. These are best eaten soon after coming out of the oven. That wasn’t really a problem, there were absolutely no leftovers when I made and served this recipe…



  1. Maria Clara says:

    Your plating and presentation as usual is excellent! Simply delicious chocolaty chocolate cake made out of good quality powdered cocoa and bittersweet chocolate with butter and eggs, it is a sure winner! Nothing could go wrong with this cake unless you leave it in the oven too long and you burned it. Wherever you serve these goodies they are sure a bit hitter to people of all ages! You could also make these goodies in heart shaped molds. I have seen those molds around in mid-January they are like muffin pans but they are heart-shaped and non-stick too. I love love Thomas Keller’s Books The French Laundry and Bouchons and he is a very handsome man too in person!

    Feb 14, 2007 | 9:11 am


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  3. wysgal says:

    Maybe with some raspberry sauce as an alternative? I’ve always loved the taste of chocolate and berries …

    Maria Clara — Heart-shape molds would be in season but almost a little too cheesey don’t you think? I saw Thomas Keller in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour, and I preferred Bourdain. =)

    Feb 14, 2007 | 10:50 am

  4. Mila says:

    Was the chocolate melted first before adding it to the mix? Or will grated chocolate suffice?

    Feb 14, 2007 | 1:26 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Mila, just chop the chocolate up coarsely…the original recipe calls for chips… wysgal, yes, this would be great with raspberry sauce… Maria Clara, this is a an easy and versatile dessert…

    Feb 14, 2007 | 1:49 pm

  6. millet says:

    MM, a technique i use when i make chocolate cakes is, instead of flour, i use butter and powdered cocoa for the pans. that way, you don’t get white traces on the sides of your cake.

    Feb 14, 2007 | 8:16 pm

  7. asunta says:

    what a great idea for valentine’s day. heard that my hubby bumped into you a couple of days ago at the airport. have a great day.

    Feb 14, 2007 | 9:13 pm

  8. joey says:

    That sounds divine! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us :) What butter do you use?

    Feb 15, 2007 | 12:28 am

  9. Marilou says:

    Would you recommend Keller’s book Bouchon over his French Laundry, from a practicality point? Both have been on my Valentine’s Day wish list but I can really only get one since I already have over 2500 cookbooks in my collection and I am running out of bookshelf space. I would prefer the one that I can cook out of the most. You know it just dawned on me…I think there is an ulterior motive to my husband’s Valentine’s Day present. Good thing I like to cook.

    Feb 15, 2007 | 12:38 am

  10. petitefleur says:

    Looks yummy, MM! I might try this dessert this month. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Feb 15, 2007 | 8:09 am

  11. asunta says:

    MM, I have a suggestion. Would you mind featuring a recipe made from locally produced chocolate like choc nut?

    Feb 15, 2007 | 8:30 am

  12. ces says:

    happy hearts day mm! this is so perfect for a night like this! looks so decadent, great plating! i will have to try this out soon!

    Feb 15, 2007 | 9:56 am

  13. Marketman says:

    ces, it looked good and tasted great! Btw, nice new site you have! asunta, gosh, i have never cooked with chocnut but I understand Chef Arracama has an ice cream using it that is quite good… and yes, it is a bit weird to be on a plane and run into a reader, heehee. Marilou, I think a great cookbook library collection must have both Keller books, they are stunning…but if you had to choose at gunpoint, I have cooked more from the Bouchon cookbook than the French Laundry… Joey, I just use the danish unsalted or New Zealand unsalted butters in the grocery. If lucky and a visitor from the states is around, I get some plugra french style butter but that is a rare occasion… Millet, that trick is utterly terrific…I too hate the whitish floury tinge to the bottom of the cakes…Thanks for that!

    Feb 15, 2007 | 10:36 am

  14. kevinn says:

    Seems simple enough to do.

    What if we don’t have an oven to work with, would an oven toaster do? (Those little things that you could use just to “re-heat” stuff)

    Feb 18, 2007 | 1:50 am

  15. Marketman says:

    kevinn, an oven toaster might be a bit tough but its worth a try, I suppose…

    Feb 18, 2007 | 3:03 pm

  16. ShoppaHolique says:

    marketman, did you add the baking chocolate into the batter or used it as a chocolate “lava” center?

    Mar 12, 2007 | 10:39 am

  17. Marketman says:

    I added the chopped chocolate into the batter and baked right away…that way, there is “lava” throughout the cake…delicious…

    Mar 12, 2007 | 11:14 am

  18. ShoppaHolique says:

    thanks a lot, marketman! I’ll try it this weekend

    Mar 13, 2007 | 9:23 am

  19. joy says:

    Hi Market man, i just recently followed your blog. Would like to know or maybe you could blog one time, about different oven settings?

    Jul 25, 2007 | 4:57 pm

  20. Vlad says:

    I worked at Bouchon and these “bouchons” are actually very similar to an ugly cake its just that the baking technique used is a little different from the norm.

    Apr 26, 2008 | 9:31 am


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