Monday, May 2, 2011

Appreciation

I'd been meaning to try this cake for a while, ever since Molly first posted it on Orangette. Somehow, though, it has always managed to be overlooked. It didn't seem fancy enough for a birthday cake, or big enough to bring to a potluck, and it was just way, way too rich to justify making for a weeknight dinner (hey, I have some standards). But I meant to, I really did - 7 oz of dark chocolate, just a tablespoon of flour? It sounded like my kind of cake. And the fact that the whole thing is made in one bowl, stirred up and in the oven within five minutes - that's certainly my kind of cake.

When I received Molly's beautiful book as a birthday present, I was reminded of the cake again, and decided I'd waited long enough. So for Lydia's birthday this year, I finally tried it out. And immediately fell into a deep depression about the lost years between finding this recipe and making it - how did I even live? It's moist, rich and flavorful, but somehow not dense. A tiny sliver is enough, but eating a little more won't make you feel like death, either. It's not a pretty cake, it's true - flat, brown and a little wrinkly, it doesn't scream, "celebration!" But take one bite, and you will.

When teacher appreciation week rolled around, I decided that I would feel highly appreciated receiving this cake. So I whipped one up for Miles' teachers, but baked it into mini cupcakes instead, dipping the tops in melted chocolate to increase the incredibleness even more. And then, I froze them over night, because I've learned that the secret to perfect brownies is a night in the freezer, and since this recipe is eerily similar to my favorite brownies, I had a hunch that it would work for these guys, too. And gosh, was I right.

Winning Hearts and Minds Cupcakes

7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
7 ounces butter, cut into cubes
1 1/3 cup white sugar
5 eggs (duck eggs are perfect here, but large chicken eggs are good, too)
1 Tbs all-purpose flour

4 oz semisweet or dark chocolate
2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 375 and butter a mini cupcake tin (or an 8" round cake pan)

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or the microwave) until smooth
Add sugar, eggs (one at a time) and then the flour and beat until smooth. 
Pour into the prepared tin and bake 13-15 minutes, until just set
Cool for 5 minutes, and then tip cupcakes out and cool completely on a rack. They'll deflate a little and get kind of wrinkly as they cool. That's ok, looks aren't everything. 

Melt the chocolate and butter and carefully dip the top of each cupcake into it, twisting and scooping a little as you lift it so the top doesn't fall off. 
Set cupcakes back onto the rack to cool, and then, if you have time, freeze them overnight (or up to a month). 

Holy heck. Seriously.

~Ashby