Cook’n with Class is a little cookery school in Montmartre where I used to teach French pâtisserie. The students are a pretty international crowd, from young backpackers and honeymooners to pensioners, but they all have a few classic dessert recipes that they would like to learn. One of the top-ten favorites is moelleux au chocolat.
Moelleux means “soft” or “tender,” which perfectly describes this dessert. Like a volcano, the cake has a center that explodes when you dive in with your spoon. Pair with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or fresh berries.
Special thanks for this recipe to Eric Fraudeau, the owner at Cook’n with Class.
By Rachel Khoo
From The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo
- 2 tbsp soft butter, plus ¾ cup butter, cubed
- 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 eggs, beaten
- Prepare 6–8 ramekins by brushing them with the soft butter and then dusting with the cocoa powder. Make sure to tap out all the excess cocoa powder.
- Melt the chocolate with the cubed butter in a bain-marie (a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), stirring occasionally. Alternatively, melt them in the microwave on a low setting.
- Combine the brown sugar and flour in a bowl. Mix the melted chocolate with the eggs followed by the flour and sugar. Divide the mixture between the ramekins and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.*
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cakes for 15–20 minutes or until the edges are firm and the centers slightly runny. Test by inserting a toothpick in the center—it should come out wet. Leave to rest for 2 minutes before turning the cakes out of the ramekins onto plates.
- Serve immediately.
* Baking your batter from cold will make it slower for the heat from the oven to penetrate the middle of the cakes, which will make the centers all the more gooey. The ramekins filled with the batter can be covered with plastic wrap (don’t let it touch the batter) and kept in the fridge for several days. They can also be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen, then baked from frozen (they will need an extra 5–10 minutes in the oven—test to see if they are done as above).