Glazed Mini Chocolate Cakes
I love baking cakes but find that I don’t do it very often, saving it for when we have company. The problem is that a regular size 9-10 inch cake is just too much for a couple of servings and I end up wasting a lot. But I like to bake cakes, so, I decided to make a small recipe, enough for 4 individual little cakes that I can play with, fill, decorate, garnish and photograph for you. The recipe is based on Judith Olney’s Chocolate Raspberry Tort, from her fabulous book The Joy of Chocolate (page 64) published very long time ago but still available on Amazon. I don’t know what happened to Judith. She published a few great books and then sort of disappeared from the publishing scene. I believe she was a sister-in-law to the incomparable late Richard Olney, a prolific and very special food writer, cook, editor and wine connoisseur who settled in the south of France to cook and write poetic books about food and wine. He also edited the Time Life The Good Cook series, a monumental undertaking that has become a classic. I consider his books collector items.
Back to the recipe. This little cakes are very quick and easy to make. If you have a stand mixer it’s even easier but a hand held mixer works just as well. For the batter I use eggs, flour and cocoa powder, cream and butter. The only leavening comes from the eggs. A little cream goes in together with the flour, and melted butter brings it all together at the end. I bake the cakes in individual pans with removable bottom (see below) so they slip out easily once they are baked. If you don’t have these you can try baking the cakes in a muffin pan but why not invest in a few individual cake pans, they are so cute. You can freeze two of them, well wrapped, for use on another occasion. I have to admit though that I don’t freeze too many things. Once in my freezer the “stuff” might as well be in Siberia. I am just as likely to find and use it if it was really stored there. Don’t tell.
The glaze is made with bittersweet chocolate (Callebaut is available here) very simply and quickly in the microwave. It’s beautiful and shiny and coat the cakes smoothly. The spun sugar is another story. I will post my method for preparing it in a separate post right after this one. It’s really simple to make but I know it sounds intimidating. You don’t really have to make it though. You can just as easily garnish the cakes with raspberries, strawberries, plain whipped cream, ice cream or whatever else strike your fancy. So here it is, a recipe for 4 individual chocolate cakes, easy as pie.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tablespoons whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons Framboise (raspberry liqeuer)
1/2 cup raspberry jam, melted
1/2 cup ground nuts (almonds, walnuts)
Fresh berries for garnish
Place eggs in a bowl of a mixer (stand mixer or hand held one).
Beat eggs to break them for about 1 minute, then add sugar and vanilla and continue beating fro 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick, fluffy and quadrupled in size.
Sift flour and cocoa powder together and add to the egg mixture together with the whipping cream beating very little, just to begin blending the flour in. Finish the blending of the flour by hand using a spatula, lifting the batter from the bottom of the bowl and folding it over to mix. Don’t stir it though, stirring will deflate the air incorporated while beating the eggs.
Add the melted and cooled butter with a spatula, folding it in just until mixed.
Spray 4 individual cake pans with non-stick spray oil. Divide the cake batter among the four pans. Place pans on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350℉ oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until done. A skewer inserted into the cakes should come out clean and the top of the cakes should spring back when pressed lightly.
When done remove from oven and let them cool in the pans for a few minutes. When the cakes have cooled sufficiently remove them gently from the cake pans. Keep them covered or wrapped until ready to proceed.
5 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 tablespoon light corn syrup
5 oz bittersweet chocolate (dark), chopped
2 tablespoons Framboise (raspberry liqueur)
Place chocolate in a glass dish and microwave 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir with a whisk. The chocolate retains its shape even when soft so don’t wait for it to pool in the dish. If not quite melted then microwave again for a few more seconds.
Add butter and stir to melt.
Add corn syrup and stir to combine. You can return to the microwave for a few seconds if needed.
Add liqueur and stir to combine.
That’s it, the glaze is ready. If you make it in advance it will thicken as it sits. To use, return to the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up to a pouring consistency.
Extra glaze can be used a sauce to drizzle over the cake or garnish the serving plate (with a few drops or drizzles).
To assemble cakes:
Cut the cakes in half, sprinkle a little Framboise liqueur on each of the cut sides.
Spread raspberry jam over the bottom half, place a couple raspberries on and re-assemble cakes pressing it down a bit.
Pour chocolate glaze over each cake and with a knife spread and smooth the sides.
If you wish you can pat ground nuts along the sides of the cake.
Place each cake on an individual serving dish, scatter a few fresh raspberries around and If you have made the spun sugar, place a nest of it on top of each cake. Instead of the spun sugar you can cover the entire top of each cake with raspberries, beginning in the center and creating concentric circles to the edge.
Serve with whipped cream and raspberry sauce or syrup.
2 cups raspberries
1 cup water or orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
Combine raspberries, water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until raspberries melt into the sauce.
Puree with an immersion blender or food processor, or leave as is.