MoM Feb ‘09 Food & Wine: Warm Double-Chocolate Brownie Cakes

I’m bombarding you with more Magazine of the Month reviews! Two in one day? It’s like winning the AwK lottery!

Food & Wine February 2009

We’ve been looking at plenty of dinners, but not much in the way of desserts. The February 2009 Food & Wine magazine has a great article on milk chocolate desserts, of which I’ve already shared one delicious offering.

Now for a second dessert: Warm Double-Chocolate Brownie Cakes

F&W Warm Double-Chocolate Brownie Cake

Let me tell you why I love this dessert. Fantastic taste and fun brownie texture aside, it’s actually fast and easy enough to make on a weeknight – not something you normally find with a dessert. While you’re making your dinner on the stove, these little cups can bake in the oven. If you have kids, this is easy enough that they can help you. Also, you can toss the extras into a plastic ziploc bag and save the rest for later.

Here’s what F&W has to say about these amazing and fun little cakes:

Brownie meets cake in this fun dessert from Emily Luchetti, a cookbook author and the executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Farallon. She bakes the batter in muffin cups so the edges turn crispy and chewy like a brownie, but the inside becomes soft and fluffy like a cake.

You’ve heard them. Now, let’s bring it on.

Warm Double-Chocolate Brownie Cakes
Courtesy of Food & Wine February 2009

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons cake flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

For the milk chocolate, I used chocolate chips. These come in bags of a little more than eleven ounces, which comes out to about two cups, so I used 1 cup of chocolate chips. To figure out the “one-fifth of the milk chocolate,” I just eyeballed it, pouring the top layer of the cup into the pot. There’s really no exact science to this, and you don’t need to get Alton Brown on this recipe with a scale. Eyeballing it is fine. The rest of the chocolate is going to get mixed into the batter and baked, so the cakes have these little chunks of delicious, melted chocolate in them.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour 8 cups in a standard-size muffin pan. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add one-fifth of the milk chocolate and whisk until melted. Let cool slightly.

I kept my oven on to medium-low, so as not to burn the chocolate or butter. Also, I put them all in together at the same time, rather than melting the butter first and the chocolate second. If you go this route, remember to keep the heat low!

By now you should pretty much know what melted butter and chocolate look like, but I snapped the obligatory photo anyway:

Chocolate & Butter

In a small bowl, whisk the cake flour with the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder and salt.

Again, you know what the dry ingredients should look like together, but I really want to point out the simplicity of this dessert.

Chocolate Powder

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

I have two photos for this because I wanted to show the novice bakers what you should have before you stop mixing.

Egg start:
Eggs & Sugar: Before

Egg end:
Eggs & Sugar: After

To beat this, I turned my beater to a little higher than half speed.

As you can see in the photos, the eggs start out very yellow and runny. After a few minutes of beating (five minutes may sound like a long time, but it goes by quickly) you will have a fluffy, very pale yellow mixture. It will also puff up due to the egg whites, so when you’re done mixing, you’ll appear to have a little more than you previously had.

Beat in the vanilla extract.

Basically, you’ll put in the vanilla extract and turn your beater back on for another 30 – 60 seconds. The egg and sugar mixture will turn a little glossy.

Beat in the melted chocolate mixture and the dry ingredients in 3 additions, scraping down the bowl occasionally with a spatula. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate.

I didn’t over-think this part, and I don’t think you should, either. I poured in the melted chocolate and beat it with my mixer, then I added the dry ingredients in two additions. When those were incorporated, I dumped in the rest of my chocolate chips and stirred them up.

Finished Batter with Milk Chocolate Chips

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for about 22 minutes, until the cakes are risen and springy. Let the cakes cool in the muffin pan for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes longer. Serve the cakes warm, with ice cream.

A little note on the “prepared muffin cups”: I sprayed down my generic muffin tin with a little butter flavored Pam. I like Pam, it works great, and every time I use that stuff, my pastries slide right out of their containers without hassle. It’s also faster than trying to butter each container separately. I just spray, spray, spray — and it’s ready.

Warm Double-Chocolate Brownie Cakes

Here they are, fresh out of the oven, shaped like little cupcakes. But they are definitely not a little cupcake. Here’s one, split open:

Warm Double-Chocolate Brownie Cakes - Halved

The outside is crispy and the inside is moist and riddled with these little melted chocolate morsels. Alone, they really aren’t anything spectacular, but when you serve them with the vanilla ice cream, they are out of this world.

Serve them upside down with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy.

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One response to “MoM Feb ‘09 Food & Wine: Warm Double-Chocolate Brownie Cakes

  1. NOTE. The key to the brownie cakes is the unmelted chocolate chips in the middle. Get the big chocolate chips, not the little ones. It totally made the dish.

    Like

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