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Molten chocolate cakes

February 6, 2008

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Serves 4

These cakes have a tender crust and an oozing, fudgy center. Dorian McCarron, executive chef of Delfino in Roslindale, uses 6-ounce metal baba molds, also called dariole (cooking.com or amazon.com). You can also use porcelain ramekins or custard cups, but those with slightly higher and tapered sides (2 inches) are preferable to the shorter, straight-sided cups. Crate & Barrel's 6-ounce Stockholm ramekins are a perfect shape and size. Don't overcook the cakes or let them sit too long in their cups after baking. You can prepare the batter ahead, let it sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours, then fill the cups and bake them before serving.

Butter (for the cups)
Sugar (for the cups)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut up
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup minus 2 1/2 tablespoons sifted flour
Fresh raspberries (for serving - optional)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter four 6-ounce, tapered ramekins, custard cups, or baba molds. Coat with sugar, shaking out the excess.

2. In a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water, place the butter and chocolate. Stir often until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the water. Wipe the bottom. Cool 2 minutes.

3. Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs, beating for 30 seconds or until the batter thickens. Add the flour and stir until blended.

4. Spoon the batter into the cups. Set them on a baking sheet. Bake metal cups for 12 minutes, porcelain cups for 14 minutes, or until the tops are just set and the centers soft. Let the cups sit for 2 minutes. Using a dish towel to hold the cups, run a dull knife around the inside of each cup and invert the cakes onto plates. Garnish with raspberries, if you like. - Adapted from Delfino restaurant