Wow, that sounds complicated, doesn't it? Actually, this rich dessert isn't that hard to make. If you've never made marshmallow meringue before, you are in for a real treat. It's easy, insanely delicious and a has a real "wow" factor.
I've made these cakes many times and they are supposed to be served unmolded, upside down on a plate. Because they are so gooey on the inside, sometimes they fall apart a bit after unmolding. I just quit messing with that step and I just serve them now in the ramekins, but you can certainly unmold them if you want. If you don't unmold them, you can pipe the marshmallow right on top, which I prefer.
The recipe for the chocolate cakes requires some egg yolks and because you will have leftover egg whites the marshmallow is the perfect way to use them up.
Warm Chocolate Cakes with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue
for a printable recipe, click here
cake adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichte
makes at least 8 cakes - the recipe can be easily halved
for the cakes:
- 1 cup butter, plus more to butter the molds
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 teaspoons flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
for the marshmallow:
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- a large pinch of cream of tartar
Set a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (You just need a couple of inches of water - do not let the bowl touch the water). Add the butter and chocolate and heat them gently together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from the heat and whisk until chocolate is smooth.
While that's heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick, several minutes.
Pour in the egg mixture into the chocolate/butter mixture and then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.
Butter and lightly dust with some of the cocoa powder eight 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake the molds on a tray for 10 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set. Remove from oven. Set the oven to "broil".
Pipe the Marshmallow Meringue on the top of each cake. (If you don't have a pastry bag and tip, just use a gallon size zip lock with a corner cut off). Return to oven and broil just until tops are toasted - watch carefully so they don't burn.
Optional: Skip the marshmallow and invert each mold onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the mold; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately.
Remove your whisk. If the peak curls over (like on the left), it is not ready. Beat more until it stands straight up (like on the right) when you remove your whisk
for the Marshmallow Meringue
(You will need a cooking thermometer for this recipe)
Note: this recipe contains raw eggs
Combine egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof mixer bowl. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved and whites are warmed to 145 degrees F. about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and place bowl on electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat starting on low speed and then increasing to high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Use immediately.
You can skip the marshmallow and unmold the cakes and serve with a little powdered sugar